Countdown to Embassy Ball 2018: 19 Days – Steady as She Goes

The countdown has begun! Less than 3 weeks until my return to Embassy Ball and my chance to see how far I’ve come after last year’s disappointment. I waited until the day before the deadline to submit my entries. There was a struggle going on between most of me who wanted a second chance at that world championship title and a small but loud part of me who didn’t want to face a second disappointment.

I won out, and entries are in.

The struggle is real, and reasonable I think, so I’m not fighting to bury it or expel it and I’m not giving into it. I’m just letting it happen in the background while I go to my lessons and solo practice to prepare for my next competition. It’s reasonable to want to avoid pain you’ve experienced before. If you burn yourself on the stove, you’re not likely to repeat the action that led to that burn.

I’m not avoiding physical pain or injury though. It was my ego that was wounded and wants to avoid repeating the experience. There is no real danger.

So I leave the debate alone. I understand both sides, and in the end, I just want to dance my best. I’ve been minimizing my thoughts about the actual competition to avoid it becoming a “big deal” and freaking myself out. It is an important competition for me. It’s the world championships, of course, and it’d be fun to get to call myself the world champ (until next year at least). More so, it’s symbolic of a chance at personal redemption. In many ways, I’ve been working toward this comp for a year. It’s also as if I’m coming full circle. Last year’s Embassy and my results there inspired the creation of the Solo Practice Guide. So this year feels like the final test. Will all of my solo practice pay off?

Unfortunately, there are still many factors outside of my control when it comes to my results. Which is why I’m not spending much time thinking about all of the reasons why this comp is a “big deal.” Luckily, when outside factors are threatening to stress me out, dance is my go-to escape! Even when Teacher and I are working on form or technique, focusing 100% on the dance task at hand helps me feel calm. If dance is the thing stressing me out (or rather, not being able to dance the way I want to), focusing on what I need to do to solve the issue, breaking it down and figuring out the solution bit by bit together with Teacher, soothes my brain.

Once in awhile, I ask myself if I’m ready, or if I’ll be ready in the next three weeks. I haven’t been able to answer that question with any certainty yet. Something else I’ve let sit in the back row while I focus on dancing. I realize that if I wanted to, I could really load this competition up with a lot of significance. To top it all off, Embassy will be my last competition for the year. The tax refund is spent and I’m still paying off Millennium. I’m tapped out, but I couldn’t let money be a reason to not do Embassy. So squeezing a few more pennies out of the budget for one last performance.

So world championships, chance at redemption, chance to prove my solo practice methods work when it “really counts”, last competition of the year…talk about pressure!

I’m taking none of it. A title is just a title. My placement is not a true reflection of how good of a dancer I am. I’ve already proven my solo practice methods work with the 1st places and 2nd places by Rule 11 at the competitions I’ve already done this year. Ok, it’s the last competition of the year, but then there will be more next year. And honestly, I’m getting a little worn out. Competing four times in as many months and launching the Solo Practice Guide was a lot on the time, energy AND money fronts. I need a break to recharge and refill the coffers.

Yes, Embassy Ball 2018 is a big deal for me, but I’m not going to focus on that. I’m going to focus on my dancing and have faith that the rest will fall into place. So steady as she goes, sailor! Those storms won’t hit us if we stay true to our course.

Happy dancing. 🙂

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