“Gobsmacked” describes those moments when surprise or shock causes someone to stop speechless in his or her tracks.

Surprisingly, this moment of physical inaction has fueled a piece of physical action, a dance work created by Waco’s L. Brooke Schlecte and titled, well, “Gobsmacked.”

Actually, the event’s full title — “Gobsmacked: An Evening of Dance and Music with Food and Wine” — reveals more of its scale, intent and component parts.

For Schlecte, a founder of the Central Texas contemporary dance company Out on a Limb, the work represents a change from the small, creative pieces that many Waco dance fans have seen from Out on a Limb in its 12 years and the Schlecte-created {254} Dance-Fest at the annual Waco Cultural Arts Festival.

It’s a sustained work with a narrative line, for one thing, and it’s presented on a theatrical stage more suitable for dancers than the hard concrete of the Waco Convention Center, where the {254} Dance-Fest takes place.

The piece grew out of readings that Schlecte had done two years ago in the Enneagram, an analytical system that finds strengths, weaknesses and connections between nine basic personality types. “Reading and podcasts and workshops, I did a lot of self-discovery,” she said. “I had a lot of gobsmacked moments . . . You learn all the worst things about you and all the best things about you with just a number.”

(For Enneagram fans, she says she’s a one with arrows to four and seven.)

Those thoughts and realizations eventually coalesced into Saturday’s Out on a Limb piece, a girl’s journey of self-discovery that passes through a series of masks before an encounter with a fearsome giant that she learns holds a key to her identity.

“The storyline is different than anything I’ve done before and there’s a definite narrative,” said Schlecte.

The Waco Civic Theatre not only provides a more intimate space for the work’s seven dancers and their audience, but allows an expanded use of lighting and sound. Schlecte collaborated with Waco musician Chris Sies on the work’s music, which he’ll perform with three other musicians, as well as Austin costumers P.J. Kelly and Daks Chaya and assistant director Erika Record.

Taste and smell

Joining sound and sight as sensory elements to “Gobsmacked” are taste and smell, provided in tasting samples from some 14 Waco restaurants and caterers. Chefs were charged to express their culinary personality in a single dinner or dessert bite, said Schlecte. “Gobsmacked” attendees will have nine dinner bites before the performance and nine dessert bites at intermission with a cash bar provided by Barnett’s Pub.

Only 180 tickets will be sold for Saturday’s event, but unsold tickets will be available for purchase at the box office.

In creating and mounting “Gobsmacked,” Schlecte faced a hidden giant of challenge and found the encounter worthwhile.

“This is probably the most favorite thing I’ve ever done,” she said.