Emerald Ball’s website has this lovely countdown clock on the homepage, which tells me that the competition starts in less than 12 days. When I say “lovely countdown clock,” I mean “psychological torture device” and when I say “less the 12 days,” I mean LESS THAN 12 DAYS!?!”
Every comp I’ve done has been preceded by at least two weeks of anxiety attacks waiting to happen. This one is no different. First one was yesterday, I believe it was triggered by thoughts of spray tanning. Yes, spray tanning. I am not a tan person and am perfectly fine with that. I’d rather be pale than get skin cancer, if you want to be dramatic about it. But apparently, Emerald Ball is a comp that you tan for. But I don’t have to increase my risk of cancer by UV, I can get my tan sprayed on! Oh good.
I feel icky just thinking about standing mostly naked while someone sprays me with a bunch of chemicals. And then there is the overly dramatic implications and connections that the demons in my head feed me. You’re expected to tan because it will make you look better. Because you don’t look attractive enough without the tan. So if you don’t tan, the judges won’t think you look good and they won’t mark you as high. So all of my hard work could be negated because I was born with pale skin. And therefore, not good enough. These ideas fly in the face of one of my core values: you should accept and love yourself for who you are, physical appearance included, because it’s who you are inside that counts. Physical beauty is literally only skin deep. But ballroom is also part of who I am, and physical beauty is part of the competition. See how sneaky the little bastards in my head are? And it’s not like I’ve been struggling with the concept that I am “good enough” to be accepted in the ballroom world. Cue anxiety attack.
It’s all silliness really. My friend found me a tanning salon that uses an organic spray tan solution. And just because I’m pale doesn’t mean I’m not a good dancer. All of my pre-comp anxiety episodes are usually over something silly. Last year before the San Francisco Open, I broke down over painting my nails. I was never a girly girl so all these beauty things are new to me. Pre-Holiday, I was mostly anxious over the money, a more reasonable worry.
It feels like it’s becoming part of my process, this time period of increased anxiety. So at least I’m aware it’s going to happen. It would be nice to phase it out at some point though. I’m in a team match at my studio this weekend, so hopefully that will make me feel better prepared for Emerald. With or without the tan.
Less than 12 days!!