Learning to Lead

I did something different in this past week’s ballroom lesson: I learned to lead! Traditionally, men lead and women follow in the ballroom dances. However, it’s very common outside of the U.S. to see female couples competing in ballroom, especially in younger or more beginner levels, simply because there aren’t enough boys to act as partners. You see my soul sister Fran leading in group classes and on the competition floor in the classic movie Strictly Ballroom.

Strictly Ballroom (1992)

Why learn to lead?

First of all, it’s a fun challenge to reverse roles as a ballroom dancer! I’ve always had an interest in learning the leader role of ballroom dances because only learning the follower role meant I was only really learning half of the dance. Learning what your partner needs to do and what they need you to do creates a better understanding of the partnership as a whole, which can only lead to a better connection and more enjoyable dancing together. Understanding how to cue a lead can also help you recognize when someone else is trying to cue you as a follower.

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New on Stance on Dance – A Dancer in the Woods

You may recall my sharing not too long ago that I had contributed an article to Stance on Dance’s first print publication. In it, I reflected on my move from Southern California to Midcoast Maine and the impact it has had on my dance journey.

If you didn’t get a copy of the printed version, the article is now available on Stance on Dance’s website! Enjoy. 🙂

New on Medium – I Like to Move It, Move It

Happy Monday, dancers! This week’s piece is featured in the Medium publication, Songstories. Did you know that I danced ballet, jazz and tap when I was little? I even performed in several recitals, dancing as characters like a California Raisin, a sailor on the Good Ship Lollipop, and Flounder in The Little Mermaid. Then a couple decades passed before I would step foot in another dance studio. What happened?

You’ll have to read to find out. 😉

Solo Practice is More Fun with Friends!

My relationship with solo dance practice was born out of necessity. I needed a way to improve as a dancer that didn’t come with a financial cost. The Solo Practice Guide for Ballroom Dancing was born out of my need to improve as a dancer without a financial cost and with a limited time requirement. The framework I developed for my solo practice sessions worked wonders. I grew in strength, balance and confidence. Lessons with Teacher were more productive. Other coaches noticed the improvements in my dancing when I competed. I became a World Champion!

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Dancing Through Feelings

It probably won’t come as a surprise that my plans for this week’s post shifted dramatically on Friday. Something exciting happened just the day before that I couldn’t wait to share with you! If you follow me on social media, then you already know. 😉 Earlier in the week, the work being done on the roof was officially complete with the last section of wood trim painted. It was shaping up to be a pretty good week! And then it was Friday.

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Salsa Dancing in the Rain

Photo by Nina M on Pexels.com

Several years ago, back in California, I would go dancing with friends at a local Salsa club. It was a great way to practice my follow skills while having a great time. There’s something about Salsa music that just fills me with a happy-go-lucky joy. It has an uplifting energy that doesn’t take itself too seriously. A great Salsa song sings “Life is too short to take yourself seriously!”

Nowadays, I get a little taste of Salsa dancing in my Zumba classes, but along with ballroom, I’ve been missing my Salsa nights out. Until Saturday!

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Country Living: Gorgeous Views and Nonstop Chores

Happy Saturday, dancers! It’s the weekend and it’s summer, which means I’ll be mowing the lawns again tomorrow before it rains again next week (a never-ending cycle until winter comes back). I love living out in the country, away from the noise and crowds of the urban environment, but damn, country living is a lot of work. Especially when you have 60 acres and a 120-year old house to take care of. Thankfully, I do NOT have to mow 60 acres!

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New on Medium – ‘Bitch’: Realizing I Don’t Have to Be Just One Thing

Now that it’s full on Spring leaning into Summer, my days cycle through work, dogs, ballet, Zumba, and mowing the lawn. Nothing too exciting for my ballroom dancing readers, but for those who enjoy non-dance topics, please check out my latest post on Medium! Inspired by Meredith Brooks’ song ‘Bitch’, I journey back to those crazy high school days:

‘Bitch’: Realizing I Don’t Have to Be Just One Thing

For those who are still interested in my daily life in Maine, here’s a reel from last weekend. It pretty much sums up my free time these days.