The Dancer's High

The Dancer's High

A Story by The Watcher

This is a story from four months ago when I was still in one of those "new student" orientation programs at college.

If you'll indulge me, I must share a little lesson before I can progress into my tale. The hardships and pains of life have their way of sculpting a person into a hardened individual. Years of being alive translate into years of experience, and we develop habits through the lessons of life. Many of these habits serve to preserve our well-being, whether it's physical, emotional, or social. For instance, an individual receives a stinging shock after touching an electric fence. Through the experience, he learns the consequences of touching the fence and develops a habit of avoiding them whenever possible. Therefore by avoiding the fence, the individual preserves his physical safety. The same concept applies to social situations as well. If one is penalized for attempting to connect with others, that person may grow to become shy and fearful of forming connections. Sure there are countless other factors that can affect an individual socially, but that's the general concept I'll go with for now. People are like cement in a sense. As children, they can be easily swayed and sculpted into a wide variety of individuals. After growing into adults however, the habits they developed will harden and become impossible to change to all but the most extreme of methods. Sometimes old habits have to be destroyed completely before new ones can be built, like dynamite to the hardened cement. This entire idea serves as the foundation to my story.

I'll spare the details since it would take days to explain my entire history, but needless to say, I am a man who has experienced great pain time and time again. My social skills are quite lacking at best, and opening my heart to others has perhaps been one of the hardest challenges I've ever faced. Still, when a connection has to be made with another human to progress further into life, I make it happen one way or another. Optional encounters, unfortunately, do not receive this boost.

Four months ago, I partook in an orientation program that served as a cultural opening ceremony for new students who have just joined the college, whether they be high school graduates or transfer students. This orientation was chock full of activities that were designed to encourage social interaction and learning throughout the institution. We were taught about the importance of studying, how to respect others with differing points of view, and how to enjoy life to the fullest from then until graduation. We were assigned into groups on day one and grew close like a family for the entire week. From 8:00 in the morning to 11:00 at night, we were always up to something. Naturally, given my cautious nature, making friends was difficult as ever. I had a bad habit of avoiding everyone to ensure my own emotional safety, and it was the hardest habit to change. I've tried many methods to force open my shell and connect to others, but they all failed in vain. However, something happened halfway through orientation that broke through for a brief moment in time. Sure it was only temporary, but it still broke though my hardest of habits. It was something I would later come to call a Dancer's High.

The finer details have blurred away into my memory, but I remember the fourth day of orientation was the day when it all happened. Everything went as normal until 7:00 that night, when we went to the student union and were set loose to do whatever we chose. In the union, the faculty had activities set up all throughout the building. On the main floor was the ballroom, where a wild dance was slowly growing. The cafeteria in the basement featured karaoke, where students from the audience could go up and sing along to whatever song was playing at the time. Besides that, students were scattered within the building and were chitchatting idly to each other. It was a wild night and quite an amazing sight to behold. The entire place was a massive melting pot of students; a real social goldmine. I walked through the hallways as the night drew on and witnessed the same thing over and over again: Students happily conversing and opening their hearts to each other. I didn't feel out of place or envious, but then again I suppose a normal child would have. Being ignored was something I perceived as "normal" and everything felt natural. Yet at the same time, I knew it was something that shouldn't feel normal. Regardless, I was literally surrounded by happiness and my heart was content at the time. Around thirty minutes into the party, the loud music drew me into the ballroom and something intense was about to happen to my psyche.

I've been to a couple of dances before, but this one was somehow different. My body slowly charged itself with every beat of the music and soon enough I was moving in a groove...

The notes were my drugs...
the bass was my adrenaline...
...and my moves became my story.

I was completely immersed into the spirit of dance, and the massive crowd only amplified the charge I was building within my soul. In the moment I was only a single consciousness in a world of billions, but I could have sworn I felt myself connect to a higher plane of awareness and being. My spirit was surging with an incredible force of positive energy. My own feelings of happiness and enjoyment skyrocketed into an immense state of ecstasy. I never had respect for drugs, but I felt like I was actually high. My mind created its own heightened state of pleasure through the charge that was developed during the dance. In that instant among all the socialization and happiness that surrounded me, something snapped within me and I felt my aura supercharge with pure positive energy. Along with this, I had this seemingly unnatural desire to socialize with everyone I saw. It almost seemed like I was possessed; I just wasn't 100% myself. I later realized that this feeling came from a part of my soul that had laid dormant until now. Hyper-charged with a Dancer's High, I left the ballroom and started wandering through the hallways again, but this time I approached others and began conversations without flinching at all. My own confidence was scaring me, but I understood that whatever I was feeling, it was overriding all of my antisocial habits. I had long talks with many people, and eventually I made my way back to the ballroom where I danced the remainder of the night away.

The sensation eventually wore off and my former behaviors regained control, but some of its effects remained. Ever since that night, I've thought of ways to recreate that sensation. Working my mind into a Dancer's High is much easier said than done, but someday I hope I can relive the experience.

© 2014 The Watcher

Author's Note

The Watcher
Four months go by and I finally get around to telling the story.

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Added on December 22, 2014
Last Updated on December 22, 2014