A common result of getting bitten by the ballroom bug is diving headfirst into all things ballroom dance. In the beginning of my ballroom journey, I went to multiple group classes each week on top of my private lessons. I’d show up to my lesson an hour or two early just to spend more time in the studio and be in that dancing environment. I never missed a practice party.
When my dance studio changed ownership, the environment changed dramatically. The focus shifted from a mix of social, showcase and competitive students to primarily serious competitors, both amateur and professional. I missed the social dancing and seeing the same group of dancers at group classes each week, but by that point, I was also becoming more serious about my competitive career. If I arrived at the studio early for a lesson, it was to get in some extra solo practice time, as opposed to just wanting to hang out with my dance family.
Last year saw another dramatic shift in my dance environment. I left it entirely and moved to the opposite corner of the country. Here in Maine, I’m slowly building a new home for myself, including dance. I found a studio where I take Zumba and ballet. I’ve met new dance friends. I have plans to turn the stables on my property into a dance space. Future performances or competitions keep themselves hidden beyond the horizon.
This past week, my ballet group class was cancelled due to some nasty weather. I had to cancel my private ballet lessons for awhile as well due to extra house expenses. I did go to Zumba yesterday and my knees were actually feeling good, so I was able to really get into the attitude of the movement. I love it when I don’t have to be so very careful while I’m dancing and can just go where the music takes me!
The point of this schedule review though is that sometimes we don’t get to dance on our dance journeys. Not every day of the adventure is exciting. Sometimes the event gets called due to weather or we have to allocate resources to other parts of our lives.
I’m learning to be ok with this. I had plenty of experience before I moved to Maine, watching others prepare for competitions or take coachings that I couldn’t afford. It’s different now because I can’t even watch anymore. My dance family back in Southern California went to a competition this weekend. If I was still living there, I would have competed. Even if I didn’t compete, I would have gone to watch and cheer. But I’m on the opposite corner of the country now.
It’s strange because I love it here so much and would never want to move back. People close to me comment on how much happier I am since I moved.
I also miss my SoCal dance family and wish I could be dancing with them. Talk about mixed emotions! My memory marbles are very multi-colored.
When I read an adventure like The Lord of the Rings, I sometimes think about what happens in between the story told on the pages. Weeks or even months can pass from one page to the next, but obviously, the author doesn’t provide a breakdown of every single day. Similarly, on this blog, if I’m recalling events from the past week, I provide you with the highlights that are relevant to the dance journey. I don’t tell you what I ate for dinner or how many emails I answered for work.
When I look back on this time, it will probably only get a sentence or two in the story. “During that first year in Maine, I didn’t do much dancing, mainly Zumba for fun and ballet for challenge. It would be _____ until I finally returned to the ballroom.”
That’s the difference between telling a story and living it. When you’re actually on the journey, you don’t know how it will end or when it will end. You don’t know what parts will be relevant to your final story. I remind myself this point so I don’t try to rush through anything, dismiss what’s in front of me, or skip ahead. I’m not doing much dancing right now, but that doesn’t mean this period won’t be significant to how my dance journey progresses.
Then and Now:
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