A Mind for Dancing

Clarity of mind leads to clarity of dancing.

The Girl with the Tree Tattoo

Mindset has been on my mind lately. I find it fascinating how our perception and attitude can have a profound effect on our behavior and experiences. If you walk into the studio with the mindset that you’re going to have a great time working through challenges with your teacher versus walking in with the mindset that it’s just going to be another lesson full of mistakes, you’re going to wind up with two very different experiences. Even if you make the same number of mistakes.

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Dancing Toward the Next Normal

Happy Mother’s Day! Before I jump in, I want to give a shout-out to all of the biological, adoptive, fur, dance and other moms who freely give their love and support to those they care about. 2020 has certainly been a challenging year, but you’ve stayed strong and we love you for it.

I’m coming up on two months since my company ordered everyone who could work from home to do so. Since I danced instead of saved before the pandemic hit, I’m extremely grateful there hasn’t been any disruption to my day job income. Not being one to count blessings twice though, I am building up the savings account during this pause. Speaking of this pause, there was some news this past week.

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Dancing With Just Me

Week 7 of staying home has passed, and we’ve entered a new month. Some areas of the country have given up the quarantine life and made attempts to resume some sort of “normal.” The state I live in maintains its stay-at-home order with no specific expiration date. A ballroom competition just a couple states over announced it will proceed as planned in June. At the same time, a week-long dance camp scheduled for the same month in a neighboring state announced it was cancelling its in-person events and pivoting to an online platform.

Our current reality is full of discontinuity. For every argument, there is another to counter it and a third to counter both. It can be difficult to know who or what to believe or trust. Not to mention there is still a virus spreading and mutating around the world with widely varying effects and side effects.

What’s a ballroom dancer to do?

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Giving Your Best Performance (in Your Living Room)

Week 6 is in the books! It seemed to be a tough one for people, judging by the protests in different areas of the country and a few states deciding to allow businesses to reopen, despite warnings that it’s too soon to be relaxing our guard.

As for me, I’m proud to say I was more on point with my fitness intentions this week! I worked out three days, including a Zumba class. I also got two grocery deliveries and jumped on the quarantine baking bandwagon with homemade apple crisp. I had actual work to do for the day job, so overall it was a pretty productive week.

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Stoking the Dance Fire

Hi dancers! How’s Day 6549723 in quarantine going for you? It’s starting to feel like a real-life version of Groundhog Day here, without the public gatherings of course. I’m coming to you a day early because the day job asked me to take some vacation days while I barely have any work to do (insert slightly worried emoji here).

Week after week of staying home is creating a new challenge for me in writing. I usually take inspiration from my experiences, and after five weeks of basically the same experience, it’s kinda hard to come up with something new to write about!

Week 5 did bring a couple new developments that I’ll share. I also want to remind you that the next workshop in The Girl with the Tree Tattoo series is only a week away, so be sure to register soon! These workshops are just one way I’m stoking the inner dance fire (keep reading, I’ll explain).

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One Impossible Thing at a Time

Tomorrow marks a full month of working from home. Time has been moving at an erratic pace. It feels like months since I had a dance lesson, years since I last competed, and yet, have I really been home for an entire month already?

Week 4 of staying at home brought its own challenges, but I held fast to the idea of pacing myself. Finding the right pace turned out to be one of the challenges, and the search continues.

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Dancing on Carpet and Other Quarantine Challenges

Three weeks in. It’s been interesting to reflect on how each week of staying home has brought something different. The first week was full of stress and anxiety. The second week was full of motivation and determination to not sit and wait for things to “get back to normal” and instead, accept this new reality and figure out how I was going to thrive in it. Week 3 unfortunately had me paying for some of that enthusiasm.

But as I always say, it’s all part of the journey!

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It’s ok if you don’t feel like dancing right now

Officially two weeks in with this new “stay at home” reality (technically it’s been about a week and a half by order of the state but I started earlier). Week 1 was stressful and surreal, like “crap, is this really happening?” Week 2 was more contemplative. Yes, this is happening and it could be happening for a long while.

It’s been interesting to see how the dance community has reacted to their entire industry essentially being put out of work until further notice. Some reacted quickly to shift their services online and minimize disruption of their business. Some have shifted to giving away their services and asking for donations to keep them afloat. Others are simply showing up online frequently with inspirational messages and short dance demonstrations to encourage people to keep moving. The common thread is no one is ready to give up.

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