It Feels Wrong to Dance

It feels wrong to dance right now.
When there are people out there
Who think it’s ok or funny or cool
To storm our nation’s Capital,
To break windows and doors
While people on the other side wonder
If this would be the day they died.

It feels wrong to dance
On the graves of literally thousands of people
Who die daily from a virus that could have been,
Should have been,
Controlled months ago.

It feels wrong to dance
When respect for ourselves,
Our neighbors,
Our country
Has been reduced to a sad, tattered rag
Flapping in the wind.

It feels wrong to dance
On the surface of a planet that has done everything it can
To support and nurture us,
And that we have only deceived and decimated.

Who are we to dance?
When so many can’t walk
Or run
Or sleep
Without being targeted.

Who are we to dance?
When so many can’t leave their homes,
And so many others don’t have homes to leave.

Who are we to feel that joy that comes
When movement meets music
And creates magic?

It feels so wrong to dance right now,
To float across the floor to a beautiful melody
When there is so much chaos, darkness and ugliness in the world.

Maybe that’s the point.

Maybe dance is the antidote to this poison,
A light in the darkness.

When you dance, you can’t scream hateful rhetoric.
You can’t throw rocks or blame.
You can’t break windows or bones.
Your anger is channeled
And transformed into calm.

When we’re calm, we can hear each other.
When we’re calm, we can help each other.

So even though it feels wrong to dance,
Perhaps we must.

Perhaps we must dance
Because we need its magic.
That magic that happens when chaotic emotion is transformed
Into powerful rhythm.

Perhaps we must dance
To reintroduce order and flow
And beauty and peace
Back into the world.

Perhaps we must dance to save ourselves
And to save each other.

So dance, my dear dancers.
But do it with purpose.
Dance here, now, so your light can shine.
Dance to listen.
Dance to understand.
Dance to empower and inspire good in this world.
Dance with trust, reason, and compassion.
Dance for others
And dance for yourself.

Remember:

We are the music makers,
    And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
    And sitting by desolate streams; —
World-losers and world-forsakers,
    On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
    Of the world for ever, it seems.

Ode by Arthur O’Shaughnessy

It’s Ok to Stumble. Just Keep Dancing.

Before I jump into today’s topic, I want to say Happy New Year, dancers! I hope your New Year’s celebrations were fun and safe.

My first lesson after the first pandemic lockdown started with a solo dance. I hadn’t danced in a studio for 3.5 months and the first thing Teacher and I did was dance Open Waltz apart. I was actually pleasantly surprised to see how much of the routine I remembered.

For the last couple years, Teacher has made me dance a solo dance or even an entire solo round at the beginning of almost every lesson, especially when we were getting close to a competition. I hated it. I got so embarrassed when I would lose my balance or forget my steps. It fed into my self-doubt and anxiety around my abilities as a dancer. But over time, it was also incredibly effective at improving my dancing.

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Resetting My Dance Journey

We’re down to the final week of 2020! Which means this is the last week to get your discount on the book bundles at Practice Ballroom Dance. Just sayin’.

I’ve got my bottle of bubbly and bayberry candle ready to go for December 31. For those unfamiliar, they say a bayberry candle burned to the socket brings health to the home and wealth to the pocket. My simple New Year’s Eve plans are not due to the pandemic by the way. I just prefer slippers to high heels.

A new challenge to kick off 2021 is also in the works! More details are below.

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Reflecting on the Year of WTF is Happening

I had the opportunity to apply some upgraded technique to my Open Waltz routine this week. Well, maybe I should say I learned that I needed to apply less. I have a tendency to do too much because I think I’m not doing enough. This week, I learned I was rotating way too much in a slip pivot, which then put me at the wrong angle for my heel pull, which then threw me off for the steps coming out of the heel pull. All that was corrected beautifully when I just stopped trying to do so much. Less was more.

Life continues to be really weird, so it was nice to have a moment when things actually made sense.

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Six Years Ago, I Thought My Competition Days Were Over

I don’t think I belong here.

That thought echoed in my head as I watched the pro-am American Rhythm session at the 2014 Holiday Dance Classic, held at the Tropicana in Las Vegas. It was my second competition as a pro-am ballroom student. I was there to dance American Smooth at the Bronze level. Smooth wasn’t until the next day, but Teacher was competing with other students in Rhythm and I wanted to show my support.

All morning, I watched ladies on the floor, dancing in rhinestones, feathers and fringe. During one of his breaks, Teacher pointed out students who seemed to be at almost every competition. I learned that some pro-am students were wealthy enough to fly themselves and their teachers around the country all year, dancing hundreds of entries at one competition after another.

And then there was me.

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Turkey in the Morning, Turkey in the Evening

Happy post-Thanksgiving, dancers! Are your refrigerators as full of leftover turkey as mine?

Before I jump into today’s blog, I want to invite you to check out the sales happening at Practice Ballroom Dance! All book/journal bundles are discounted, so grab one for yourself and a friend to start the 2021 chapter of your dance journey off right. This year has straight up sucked, but we dancers know how to make our falls a part of our dance.

Now onto today’s story…

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Dancing in the Magic of the Moment

Haul out the holly
Put up the tree before my spirit falls again
Fill up the stocking
I may be rushing things, but deck the halls again now

“We Need a Little Christmas” -written by Jerry Herman

Holiday shoppers, the Practice Ballroom Dance store is officially open for the season! Normally, I do a couple short sales toward the end of the year, but 2020 is hella different. So I’ve decided to do things a little different. Book and journal bundles are on sale and will stay that way through the end of the year!

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