Ballroom Withdrawal – A Financially Sound State

You know that feeling you get when you feel like your budget is in good shape and even after fitting in dance, you still have some wiggle room, but then you have to buy a new car battery and instead of wiggle room, you’re back to wearing a financial corset?

Maybe it’s just me.

I knew something was up with the battery, but I was hoping that when I took it in to get it checked, they could just recharge it. But no, it needed to be replaced. I probably could have gotten away with driving it a little while longer since the car still started (just more slowly than usual), but I had been stranded with a completely dead battery before and was not eager to repeat the experience. So I forked over my money.

Meanwhile, I haven’t had a dance lesson since my comeback at CalOpen! I already wrote that the lesson immediately following the competition was cancelled. Then this past week, I only had one lesson scheduled because Teacher would be travelling for another competition on the day of my second standing lesson. But I missed it because I had to stay at work two extra hours. I was super thrilled about that, let me tell you.

Suffice it to say, I’m going through a bit of ballroom withdrawal. I have been to two social dances (paid with volunteer work) since CalOpen, which help but only a little. I very rarely get to dance full out like I do when I’m dancing at a comp or during my lessons. It’s social dancing so people typically don’t dance a comp-level “full out,” dancing full out is more difficult when I’m unfamiliar with my partner, and frankly it’s rare that I find a leader who is good enough in their technique.

I did get to dance a tango and Viennese waltz with an instructor at one of the social dances, so I was able to kick it up a notch with him. Although he did exclaim “what are you, 6′ 8″?!” after our Viennese. Actually I’m 5’6″, but apparently I move like a giant when I’m dancing! Side effect of taking lessons with Teacher, I suppose. He’s taller and is always encouraging me to make the most of my strong legs and stretch out my steps. I don’t get to stretch my legs too often at social dances. Then again, when I dance rhythm socially, sometimes I stretch too much and make my steps too big!

Aside from the brief relief through social dancing, the ballroom withdrawal has definitely kicked in. But after the unexpected car expense this weekend, I reluctantly acknowledge (again) that a break from dancing brings a little extra financial stability. I probably should retract my initial statement about having wiggle room in my budget because my next lesson payment was in fact going to be late as I needed to pay comp expenses first. But I had informed Teacher of the situation a couple weeks before CalOpen, so everything was still going according to plan.

Now that a few lessons didn’t happen, the point when I’ll run out of lessons and the point when I’ll have the money to pay for another set come closer together. Which is a good thing. Except that it means two weeks between dancing at CalOpen and my first post-comp lesson.

This is the story of my dance life though. Until I have other (or better) streams of income established, I work with the little I have. Not to brag, but I’ve been pretty successful so far! I just have to deal with the occasional dancing dry spell.

Dancing with a teacher who also competes professionally is a blessing and a curse. There is a marvelous trickle-down effect as he brings insights and tips from his own coachings to my lessons. But then lessons get cancelled when he is out of town competing. Still, those times help stretch out my lesson payments.

Withdrawal doesn’t feel good, but sometimes not dancing helps ensure I can keep dancing in the long run.

On a side note, while I wait to get back to dancing, I’ve been having fun with some of the candid shots taken of me at CalOpen. Here’s a little comic I put together, inspired by this post.


Winner, winner, chicken dinner!


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