Profile

Illustrator, animator and cuteness enthusiast living in northern California.

Currently in love with the wonderful WolfYama

Icon by Louvlex!

Contact

Google+
doodlingwoods
Tumblr
doodlingwoods.tumblr.com
Twitter
dwudles

Latest Journal

Thoughts on Fursuiting and Dancing

on 27 January 2015 at 09:23:37 MST

Preface: This is SUPER long, I didn't mean for it to be, so:

TLDR: Fursuiting and dancing helped me get over alot of painful anxiety I had, i <3 my friends, you should enter a dance comp

To understand where the story starts from, lets go back to the summer of 2011. I had just graduated from school and after several nail bitting months, had secured a dream internship across the country in California. I had no friends or family in the area, but the desire for the job was enough that I moved blind to the area. After a few lonely months, I found out the internship would be ending and they wouldn't be hiring me. I was crushed that I came all that way only to have to restart a job search, this time without any safety net. All that while, I was still without my boyfriend of several years, communicating through chat and an occasional phone call. Things started to look up in the fall, after I secured another position, but by that point the stress of moving to a city alone without anyone else had exasperated what had once been an manageable general anxiety disorder. Going out in public for daily errands became an excruciating experience. I couldn't hear a laugh or people talking without wondering if it was about me, what I was doing, what I was wearing. Things finally came to a head, when I had a full on nervous breakdown in grocery store parking lot (looking back on it, it sounds totally ridiculous). In addition to of all this, I felt this was the time to finally come out to parents after going through all of college as a gay man.

When the dust all settled, a new year had began, I had moved in with my boyfriend and things seemed to be headed in a positive direction. That's when my boyfriend told me he wanted to attend a furry convention down in San Jose so that we could hang out with some friends he had been hanging with in southern California. Although I had dabbled in furry stuff at the start of college and in high school, it never developed into anything more than a passing fad for me, although my boyfriend had already attended a convention and fairly popular in the community. We attended the convention, saw the sights and the dealers den, but little of it stuck to me, until we ended up getting dinner with one of his friends a suit maker named Kilcodo. Over dinner we connected over a mutual love of punk rock, 90's playstation games and generally being a degenerate high school kid. My experience with furries up to that point was tainted by a local meet up, so to find someone who was interested in similar things as to me was eye opening. We said our goodbyes and left for home, but I felt like there was a hint at something bigger there. On our drive home, my boyfriend informed he wanted to attended Furry Weekend Atlanta (which he had attended the year before) and that Kilcodo would be attending too, and I decided to go.

I signed up for furaffinity a few months later, registered for FWA and the art show and bought my plane ticket out. I went to school in Savannah and had many friends in Atlanta, so I figured if the weekend went bust, I could always hang out with my other friends. I participated here and there with the con, but without a network of friends, most of it fell flat and I ended up spending more and more time with old friends. Saturday night though, I was told REPEATLY not to miss the fursuit dance competition, although I had expressed a general distaste for fursuits in general. But, all it took that one experience to completely change my mind. My mind was blown by dancers like Step, Phor and Doryuu. Here was a group of people doing the kind of dancing I'd always admired, but now as giant animals. And that's when I knew I just had to be a part of it.

I spent the rest of the night drunkenly begging Kilcodo to make my suit, and she happily agreed! It would take me a few months to save over for cost and in the mean time, my boyfriend decided we should try to go to the biggest con of them all, Anthrocon. I happily agreed if it meant getting a chance to see more dancing! In the months leading up to Anthrocon I continued to use FA and had started gathering an audience with my artwork and culminating several friends. To me, it seemed weird that anyone would pay attention to my artwork, it was usually brushed off on other websites, but I was actually starting to get a reaction! The biggest surprise came a few months later when I actually attended Anthrocon and the people I was rooming with were the artists I had been admiring and talking to online! Here was the community of the people I wanted to be a part of and now I finally was! The entire convention was a magical experience and I left feeling like I needed to get my suit sooner than ever! I continued to make friends and become a part of the community I was so hesitant to get in to.

It took a a good full year to to finally get enough funds and have my suit completed, but it arrived right before my birthday (which happened to be around FWA). I remember picking up the box from the postage station and grinning like an idiot the entire BART ride back to my apartment. I got home, unboxed it and put it on, and the change was instant. I was suddenly boisterous, friendly, I felt like a whole new person. I researched how to perform in fursuit and had been practicing my dancing, but I didn't have any expectations to actually get a chance to participate in the FWA dance comp. I told myself as long as I had a chance to wear my suit and dance for the audition, I would be happy. We attended and I tried out , which actually went fairly horribly as my sleeves started to slip off and my foot paw flew off at a judge mid song. But, to my biggest surprise, they actually passed me and I was going to perform! I couldn't believe it! I got ready for the performance and watched nervously from behind the curtain as dancer after dancer went out. I'd never felt more nervous in my entire life, I was shaking and literally about to pee my pants. But as soon as I stepped out from behind the curtain, everything else faded away and the next thing I knew I had the whole room yelling and clapping (I even had my own cheering section of friends in the front row!). My sleeves fell down and I ended up throwing my hands off, but everyone ate it up! I couldn't believe it actually happened, until people showed me video of the performance. I couldn't even recognize myself, it was a completely different person. It was hard to believe only a year and a half ago, I had problems leaving my house.

As i continue to participate in the community and explore different parts of myself, I found myself becoming less and less anxious. I had a safety net of friends (although they were scattered all over the world) and whenever I started getting nervous, I could remember that performance at FWA. It became a hidden source of strength for whenever I felt nervous. If i could go out, have my wardrobe malfunction and still make everyone cheer, why couldn't I do anything? As more and more time passed, eventually January came back around and Further Confusion was back on the radar. I knew was the going to participate in the dance competition, but I wasn't sure which section. I auditioned for both, and managed to get in for freestyle which meant I'd be dance battling against other suiters. It was a brand new format for me and having only previously danced in-front of people at FWA, but I figured why not? I figured if I got the chance to dance for one song, I got everything I wanted out it. I wasn't going to make it past the first battle, but I might as well give it my all. To my complete surprise I made I actually won the first battle, but in the process, I felt my pants tear slightly at the crotch (it had actually happened in the rehearsal a few hours before in another pair of pants). I wasn't sure what to do, I didn't have time to go back upstairs and taking off and putting back on my suit would have taken too long. I decided to just wing it and go through with it. The next battle came up, and I gave it my all, but my pants tore even more now. At this point it was literally a worst case scenario. I was wearing the smallest pair of briefs I think I owned, and the flaps of my pants weren't hiding it in the least bit. But, still I gave it everything I had, and to biggest surprise I won the second battle. All of the sudden all of the dancers who I had looked up to, that ones who had inspired me to start dancing were coming up to me and congratulating me. I was thrilled! I was actually in the finals! I couldn't believe it! Right before I got suited up, I told myself, "I'm not going to win, but wow, I can't believe I made it this far, this is amazing!!!". I went out with my pants, more like chaps now than anything else, and gave it everything I had. My butt was literally on display for the whole room to see, and I didn't give a single care. The initial battle ended in a tie, and we went in to overtime. Here was where to give it everything I had. I could barely stand at the end of it all, and was ecstatic I even had the chance to perform, that was all that was important to me. To my biggest surprise, I ended up winning not only the freestyle section, but the audience choice award too. I couldn't believe any of it. I had gone from being petrified of being in front of people to what is a worse case scenario of being in my underwear in front of a huge group of people, and I didn't care in the least bit.

This last FC, was I invited back as a judge for the dance competition (winners usually judge the next year) and as part of it, I needed to do a showcase out of suit. The idea terrified me at first, but I pushed myself to participate and ended up having a blast! Rey Rey ended up being a huge support too! There is such a great community of people the genuinely wanted to see me grow and get better. Why am I sharing this story? Because I know that my story isn't so strange for so many people. That there are bits and pieces that are echoed in so, so, many other people's stories. To hopefully encourage you to move past whatever it is you're afraid of. To hopefully get some of you away from your nervousness and enter a dance competition. To explain where I came from and to hopefully encourage you that it actually does get better! To show that there's a world of people out there that care and want to see you succeed in whatever it is you want to do, if you just open yourself up.

TLDR: Fursuiting and dancing helped me get over alot of painful anxiety I had, i <3 my friends, you should enter a dance comp

View This Journal and 10 Comments

Statistics

Joined 29 October 2012

5009
Pageviews
503
Followers
218
Favorites Given
1517
Favorites Received
101
Submissions
3
Journals
270
Following

Shouts

  • Link

    Holy boly, your work is a shutter bug of what summer is

  • Link

    Your art is so great!

  • Link

    I would just like to say i love your style.

  • Link

    <333 dwudyy

  • Link

    Besties 4evah

  • Link

    Your stuffs amazing dude X3 Keep up the good work~

  • Link

    Aw thanks, haha likewise certainly :D