Countdown to the First Competition of 2020: 6 Days – What?!

I know what you’re thinking. I said California Open was going to be my first competition this year, and that’s still a month away. So what the heck is in 6 days??

Surprise! I’ve entered another competition!

It was only about a week ago that I decided to enter, which is very unlike me. It is however very like me to act quickly when a clear opportunity presents itself that aligns with my goals.

So what is this opportunity? For a moment, I thought about not telling you until the very end of the blog post, but decided that would be silly and mean, so let’s cut to the chase.

On January 17 (this coming Friday), I’ll be competing in Open Smooth at the Fred Astaire West Coast Dance Championships. Yes, it’s a Fred Astaire event, and no, I haven’t competed at one before. I’m really curious to see how they run things and what the atmosphere is like compared to the NDCA competitions I’ve attended.

One difference I know already is that there isn’t a dedicated website where I can see a schedule or that I can check four times a day to see if heat lists have been posted. So I’m dancing on Friday, but I don’t know when yet, which means I don’t know when to book my makeup appointment. It’s little details like that that can really poke at the big red anxiety buttons in my brain, but so far I’m not triggered.

I was a little triggered by my dance lessons this past week though. I wasn’t connecting to and following Teacher on Wednesday at all, which meant I kept moving before he led me or I’d be off balance and out of sync. Teacher suggested a double lesson on Friday, so we could have more time to dance together.

By the time Friday evening came around, I was mentally and physically out of it from a long week. I got to the studio early so I could do a proper warmup. I wasn’t able to do that on Wednesday and my knees were really sore after my lesson. After some warmup exercises for my joints, I danced through some of my Waltz and Tango but both were really shaky. Dancing with Teacher once our lesson started didn’t help much. We decided to move the double to next week and keep this one a single lesson. I was reluctant because I like to just push through things. I don’t like to pull back to go easier on myself, even when it’s the smarter move.

The fog did start to lift through the lesson and my balance and movement improved somewhat. I have to admit that going another 45 minutes would have been a bad idea. My knees and my back are sore this morning. It’s like my body’s trying to tell me to rest or something!

We’re squeezing in one more single lesson and then a double before we hit the competition dance floor on Friday. I’m burning through my lesson package pretty quick, but for once, money is one thing I’m not stressed over with this competition. Various circumstances made it significantly cheaper for me to enter, two being that I’m only doing a round of single dances plus the scholarship and the entry fees are a few dollars less than what I usually pay.

I’m not counting this competition to my goal of five; this is like a bonus before I even start! West Coast will be my warmup competition to kick off the year. Secretly (or not, since I’m telling you), I’m wondering which month in 2020 will I reconnect with harsh reality and realize I was crazy to ever think I could pull off this goal.

Maybe I’ll never reconnect with that harsh reality. I’m owning my dance journey and maybe that means I connect with a different reality, still full of challenges but nothing I’m not equipped to handle. Even if I don’t compete in five more competitions this year, I can still feel successful about the ones I do enter. It’s a journey, right? So nothing is fixed.

If anyone else is going to be at the Fred Astaire West Coast Dance Championships, let me know! I’d love to meet you in person.

Don’t forget – we’re starting the Own Your Dance Journey challenge on January 15! It will be 5 days of email prompts to get you set up for truly taking ownership of your dance journey, which will lead to you performing with greater confidence and joy on the dance floor. It’s FREE so why not, right? Sign up here.


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