It’s Not a Toomah!

Yes – the famous line from Ah-nold’s quasi-action movie, Kindergarten Cop. And often what I say, in jest, when people question the insulin pump under all of my dance costumes.

Of course I love ballroom dance because it’s highly social, is goal oriented, and is a huge part of my exercise regiment. But let’s face it. Who wouldn’t want to prance around in all of those fancy, glittery ballgowns that you see on Dancing with the Stars? I have a number of “oooh… shiny” moments when it comes to selecting outfits for upcoming showcases and competitions. (West Coast Swing comps are much more laid back, but I still like to sparkle.)


Hmm, I’ll just put my pump… no where? (Melissa and Tony from DWTS All Stars)

The problem with most, if not all, dance clothing is that everything is made of skin tight lycra or spandex, allowing all movement of the body to be showcased. As well as all of your bulges, flaws, and rectangular battery powered devices that keep you alive. Now for most performances, I generally disconnect for the times I’m on stage (10 minutes total max). But sometimes I have to plan where my site is because maybe my dress is backless. Or if I disconnect with a tight dress, I get this cool plastic nub under my costumes.

I’ve also taken nice little pump vacations and head back on lantus for a week; I’ve found this to be easier than connecting and reconnecting backstage and fighting the adrenaline and stress highs. But, then I’m on shots for a week. Ugh…

However, it’s a little more complicated for rehearsals and practices that I want to wear my costume and my pump. It’s not so much the awkward lines I suddenly create. It’s figuring out where to place the pump so that it doesn’t fall out during a lift that is a bigger problem. Even with all of the bands, garters, and clips out there, it’s generally best for me to just keep practicing in sweat pants with pockets until the very last minute. I’ve had my pump grabbed, my wire caught on my partner, had the pump leg band fall mid-run of a routine, had the pump fall out of my pocket, jab my partner in strange places… etc. Often, a ballroom dance costume is all one piece with built in leotards. So good luck with trying to hook the pump on anything isn’t at risk of ripping, shedding a few rhinestones, or whatever.

This is why I like competing in west coast swing so much these days. I can wear PANTS. With POCKETS. And I can hide my wire safely away from leaders with crazy octopus arms. It’s amazing.

But – again, I still love dancing, albeit the unique reflections I create in a mirror. And the shiny rhinestones. Lots and lots of rhinestones.


5 thoughts on “It’s Not a Toomah!

  1. dramaqueen1913 says:

    Since I’ve started this research into diabetes, my dancer’s mind has been wondering how a dancer would cope with having to wear a pump. Particularly after seeing my friend’s pod–I can’t imagine the lengths you guys have to go to in order to hide those things or forego them and plan out how to regulate your levels. I am further amazed and inspired.

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