Dancing My Beautiful Truth (With a Dress to Match)

Happy Memorial Day weekend! Honestly, when I kept hearing commercials about Memorial Day sales this past week, I thought it was odd they were advertising so early. Then I realized this was the holiday weekend, not a week or two from now. Better to realize it now instead of logging into work on Monday and wondering why no one else is online!

I kicked off the weekend by hosting the Dance Your Truth workshop with RiTika Rose, which was eye-opening.

RiTika took us through four journaling prompts, based on a chapter from her book T.A.G.G.E.D. U.R. IT!: Become the Leader of Your Own Life. Through these prompts and the discussion that followed, I made some interesting breakthroughs about myself and my perception of who I am as a ballroom dancer.

I’m sure I’ve written before that I’ve never considered myself a “pretty girl.” I’m not one to wear makeup or jewelry every day. I don’t even have my ears pierced. I’ve never been much into fashion. My style is primarily based on comfort.

Ballroom dancing is full of pretty things. The dresses that women wear for competitions are a visual feast of colors and textures. The makeup, the jewelry, the hair pieces…it’s all a celebration of beauty and elegance. Qualities I did not believe I possessed.

As someone not interested in those things, I never spent much time with them. I always felt awkward and overwhelmed walking through the vendor area at a competition, wondering where I’d even begin if I was looking for a new dress. Assuming I could afford one. I remember taking a little field trip with Teacher and his other students to a dressmaker’s shop and standing off to the side while everyone grabbed dresses to try on. I felt out of place because this part of ballroom wasn’t meant for a girl like me.

My overall look for competitions has been a topic of discussion since I moved up to the Open level, and one that I’ve resisted a great deal. I just want to focus on the dance. The rest feels superficial, like I’m playing to the expectations of others instead of staying true to myself.

What yesterday’s workshop helped me realize is I’m actually playing to my own limiting beliefs. Since I didn’t feel like I was physically (or financially) worthy of beautiful gowns and sparkling jewelry, I pushed that aspect of ballroom aside and told myself it didn’t matter. Only the dance mattered.

The truth is the look of a ballroom dancer is a part of the whole package. You can have a champion couple perform wearing burlap sacks and their dancing will be beautiful, but the experience will be heightened and feel more complete if they perform in equally beautiful costumes.

I love what one of the workshop attendees said to me – give yourself permission to explore the fashion side of ballroom and have fun with it.

So often, we set up our own obstacles and blockades to keep us from exploring or enjoying something because we think we’re not deserving of it. I’ve done this plenty of times along my dance journey. It might take someone else pointing out the obstacle for me to recognize it, but I’m the only one who can dismantle it. So here’s another one for me to get to work on.

I don’t see myself becoming some kind of fashionista, but I do see how being more open to the fashion side of ballroom can also help me connect more with my feminine side that is beautiful, elegant, sexy, and all of other things I’ve insisted all of my life that I’m not. Doing that will only help me show up as an even truer version of myself.

Shout out to RiTika Rose for giving an amazing workshop! I will be spending much of the remainder of this weekend processing and planning how I want to bring these revelations with me on the next stage of my dance journey.

I’d love to know if there is some aspect of ballroom that you’ve resisted because you think it’s just “not you.” After reading my thoughts on my own limiting beliefs, do you think it really isn’t you, or is it something you’ve decided long ago that you’re not worthy of?

Looking forward to reading the comments!

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