Like a Warm Spring Breeze on a Cold Winter’s Day

I got my new video of the silver foxtrot routine. And what’s more, I actually feel like I am starting to get the hang of it!

I’m always so grateful for the lessons where things just go well.

But I’ll be frank with you. I think I had something to do with it.

A lousy thing happened last night. It was still bothering me today. But after talking to a friend about it, she reminded me I needed to focus on taking care of me. She was right.

I watched my videos again today and, after shaking my head at how terrible I looked, I tried to focus on the point of the video – the choreography. I wanted to try to at least get an idea of the order of steps and pick out spots where I couldn’t follow what we were doing. Then I would be prepared for my lesson after work.

This purposeful refocusing made me forget the lousy thing. Well, not forget, but at least not be bothered as much by it. I had more positive and productive things to focus on, like my new routines.

Teacher wanted to focus on the foxtrot routine in our lesson. Despite the lousy thing in the back of my head and my love-hate relationship with foxtrot, I found myself feeling a quiet, yet strong determination. I was going to figure this out.

I told Teacher one part where I was getting confused from the video and we started there. Then we went back and danced the routine from the beginning. I picked other places that were confusing me. We went through them slowly. Teacher danced my steps, so I could see what I was supposed to be doing. I said “please do it one more time” when I still couldn’t quite grasp it. Then I tried to dance it on my own. Step by step. We danced parts together and I asked to repeat them when it was still fuzzy in my head.

By the time someone was recording us dancing the foxtrot routine at the end of my lesson, my quiet determination was evolving into quiet confidence. I can figure this foxtrot thing out!

So I am very grateful that my lesson went well. I really needed it. But I also know that a big factor was my attitude. I could have focused on how terrible I looked in the last videos. I could have focused on the lousy thing that happened the night before. Instead I just focused on the present and making that present as worthwhile as possible.

Now, my attitude adjustment wasn’t dramatic. I didn’t say to myself, or anyone else, “screw that lousy thing! I’m awesome!” Or even declare that I was going to focus only on the positive because that’s what you’re supposed to do (or whatever). I just had a quiet, gentle thought of wanting to make sure I was prepared for my lesson today. I have plenty of lousy things to deal with. But ballroom dance is my one chance to escape all those things, even if just for 45 minutes.

Sometimes just the simple act of focusing on something productive in the present is all you need to get you through a struggle. Ask yourself, “what can I do right now that I will enjoy and will be productive?”

Then forget the lousy thing for a bit and go do that.

A fun side note: A fellow student shared her pretty antlers with me at the start of my lesson! They kept falling off my head when I was in frame though, so I couldn’t dance with them. But they did make me smile!


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