Dancing to Keep Warm and For Plain ‘Ol Fun

It’s officially Autumn here in Maine! Those warm Summer days are long gone, evidenced by the 63-degree temperature inside the house (I’m not turning on the heat until I can vacuum out at least the ends of the ducts). The trees are also changing, which is beautiful. Batches of trees turned this brilliant red early on along the main route that I drive for groceries, PT, etc. You have this large swath of summer-y green and then bam! a batch of red in the middle. So gorgeous. I understand why tourists flock to this area at this time of year.

Not much dancing this week unfortunately. Monday night, I kicked the brick supporting the wood stove in the kitchen with my little toe. Not broken! But still not pretty. I was bummed to miss Zumba yesterday morning, but knowing my history with pushing my body too far, I also knew the consequences weren’t worth it in the long run. As my mom put it, dancers need their feet! So I’m trying to be smart and take care of mine.

I did do a little bit of Foxtrot yesterday for fun, and to warm up. I posted a couple clips on Instagram:

I’ve realized “fun” is the main purpose I need out of my dancing right now. I miss working with Teacher and I miss competing, but there’s still a lot to do with the house while I’m working full+ time. At this stage, I need dance primarily for a mental and physical break, to just let loose for a few minutes, connect with some music, and feel my body. When people ask me if I’m still dancing, I feel this compulsion to explain my process for getting back to “real” dance training. Like because I’ve trained and competed as a serious dancer, I can’t just be dancing for fun. There always has to be a goal I’m working toward.

Well, how about the goal is to keep my body and mind healthy during this transition? How about the goal is to dance each day to the point I can’t help but smile?

I’m going to love it when I can finally get back into regular dance training, but I’m also loving dancing along to “Mambo Italiano” while I brush my teeth. Just because it’s fun!

I wondered if I was letting people down indirectly by choosing fun over discipline at this point of my dance journey. I wrote the book on solo practice after all! But if someone needed their dancing to just be fun for awhile, I definitely wouldn’t want them to see their Solo Practice Guide and feel guilty or lazy or uncommitted just because they’re choosing to dance a little Salsa in the kitchen instead of drilling their Rumba walks. Dance that Salsa!

When all is said and done, I think we dance because we feel it in our souls. The physical aspects – the technique, the choreography, the physical training – all assist in bridging that connection, but the joy in that rhythmic movement is what solidifies that bridge. It’s what brings life to our dancing. It’s what makes our bodies twitch when we hear a great song.

I know there are still plenty of competitions yet to be entered this year, including Ohio Star Ball which is still on my bucket list. If you’re competing, I wish you the absolute best AND I wish you a great time dancing. Have fun! Stay connected to that joy that comes from hearing a great song and moving your body in rhythm to it. And if you’re in a northern latitude like me, it’ll also help you stay warm! 😉

4 thoughts on “Dancing to Keep Warm and For Plain ‘Ol Fun

  1. fmfortunato06 says:

    My group class teacher has developed some exercises (little solo routines, which don’t travel) for each of the 5 Standard dances. Their purpose is to prepare the body for those dances, while getting the brain in sync with the music for each dance. In class, she uses them as warm-ups, before working on actual figures. But I also use them for fun! Because they are so simple, and I have them thoroughly memorized, I can use them as vehicles for just grooving to some fun Quickstep (or Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, or Viennese) music. They are great for when I don’t have the energy for serious practice, but still want to enjoy some dancing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kris says:

    It’s wonderful that you have space in your new home to enjoy dance! I think fun is a legitimate goal for any dancer and it’s something to always keep in mind. Mostly I dance for fun and joy is a main component in whatever goal I am focused on even if that goal is a competition. I do love to push myself to learn and improve but I feel that I’m only trying to be the best version of myself. Also I think that when you watch dancers that are truly having fun, it’s the best!

    Liked by 1 person

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