Transitions and Uplevels

They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.
― Andy Warhol

Boom. Mic drop, right? For anyone wishing Life was different, what are you waiting for?

Before I elaborate, I need to remind you that we’re down to the last few hours to preorder A Journal for the Whole Dance Journey and The Choreography Journal. After today, the cart closes and the journals won’t be available again until after the preorders have been filled.

So again, I ask, “what are you waiting for?” 😉

Now then, about this change business. I’ve been going through a few changes myself, and while I believe them all to be good changes, the actual transition process isn’t comfortable. So for anyone else going through a transition (hopefully the uplevel kind), I thought I’d share my experience.

Shall I start with something cliche like “change is never easy”?

It’s true though. Even good changes require an adjustment period. You get a big raise at work. Awesome change! There’s still a disruption to how you normally do things. Maybe you don’t have to second guess every purchase anymore. It feels weird for awhile, right?

As a person, I like change. Change is opportunity to grow and improve. As an anxious person, I dread the transition period that comes with change. The waiting as things are reshuffled into something new I can only guess at. Not knowing what to expect and therefore not being able to prepare makes me itch.

Even when I know things are being reshuffled into something better, when I don’t know exactly what something looks like, I’m bothered. The transition happening at my day job is a perfect example.

The company I work for was bought by a much larger company a couple months ago. I’ve been through a merger/acquisition before, and it did not go well. If you ever go through a company buyout and hear the words “business as usual” repeated over and over, dust off your resume.

Luckily, that has not been the case during this “integration.” I’ve learned that’s the new buzz word for when one company merges into another. Upgrade from “restructuring,” I guess. In fact, I’m seeing a lot of opportunity to shake things up and improve things in my department, which is really cool.

There is always an uncertainty in these transitions though. Ultimately, everyone spends a period of time wondering if they’ll still have their job by the time everything is done. So far so good in my situation, but then there is the question of how much my job will change. How will my benefits be affected? How much will my day-to-day activities change? And most importantly, will this integration affect my dance journey?

I’ve been proceeding with caution and listening very closely to what the higher ups are saying (and what they’re not saying). At this point, I am feeling very optimistic about this integration and am excited about the opportunity to make some uplevels in my job as a technical editor. Still, the fact we haven’t yet received the style and formatting guide from our new company, and therefore, can’t yet start to transition our report templates, is rather aggravating.

This will probably amuse you. We’re scheduled to receive our annual raises and bonuses in our next paycheck. Not knowing exactly how much my next paycheck is going to be, even though I know it’s going to be more than my last one, is legitimately bothering me. I have the line highlighted yellow on my projected budget spreadsheet.

It’s the uncertainty that really gets my anxiety going. Meanwhile, in dance, I’m also going through a huge transition, as I’ve upleveled from Closed Silver to Open in American Smooth. Even though I’ve been working on Open-level routines for over a year now, actually competing in Open at Embassy Ball felt like the official entrance to the Open level. So now the real work is happening to become an Open-level dancer.

It was intimidating to have the skies clear and reveal just how far ahead the path stretched. I told Teacher that I was really happy and proud of my dancing at Embassy, but it was also very obvious to me how much work there was still to be done.

I love what one friend said about her debut in Open Smooth at Elite Dancesport this week. She said she made mistakes, but that was a good thing because it showed her where she should focus her efforts moving forward. That’s how I felt about Embassy. It was the real first step and revealed how much further I have to go.

The difference between the transitions at the day job and transitions in dance is the fact that I can take immediate action in dance. In my lessons, Teacher and I have been diving deeper into broader concepts that affect the details of the dancing, like body movement, alignment and coordination. I’m also taking what we work on into my solo practice.

Action always relieves anxiety for me. I don’t know how far or fast I’ll progress down the Open road, but I don’t have to wait for someone else to tell me. I can do something about it today and I’ll get somewhere.

As if that weren’t enough, things are changing in my business too, as I launch not one, but two new products. I’m so excited to bring these journals to the world! And also uncomfortable because while I’m taking a lot of action, I don’t know what results those actions will bring.

At some point, with all of these changes, I just have to trust that I’m doing my best in each situation and acknowledge that the rest isn’t up to me. Not an easy thing to do for an anxious person, but I’m getting better. One thing that helps is focusing on what’s right in front of me. I don’t know how judges will mark me at my next competition (whenever that is), but in my dance lesson today, I was able to incorporate the body movement work we’ve been doing into my Viennese Waltz. I don’t know what the day job will look like after this integration has completed, but I can continue to produce quality reports for our clients in the meantime. And I don’t know how many more preorders will come in this evening, but YOU can help there by getting your preorder in right now (couldn’t help myself):

So if one or more transitions are making you itchy, take a breath and trust yourself to handle it. Handling it can include asking for support, by the way. And like Andy said at the beginning, you can change things too.

Along this theme, I’d like to know what’s a recent transition you’ve made in your dancing. For me, aside from moving into Open, a big transition that’s had a huge impact on my dancing already is focusing on the body movement. How about you?


2 thoughts on “Transitions and Uplevels

  1. Ally says:

    I’ve been taking drop-in ballroom/latin classes for over a year. A couple of weeks ago, one of the studio owners suggested I take a pre-Silver level class. I had my first one yesterday. We learned continuity and CBM in waltz. It was extremely intimidating but the instructors and other students are super nice and encouraging and I’m excited for next week!


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