I’ve officially made it back to the competition floor after an entire year and debuted at the Open level in Smooth! It was quite a day at Embassy Ball, full of emotions high and low.
Seeing “4 days” written out feels a lot sooner than just thinking “Thursday” in my head. It’s so close! After a year of financial roadblocks, physical injuries, and training at a more advanced level all at the same time, I’m finally returning to the competition floor. My last competition was Embassy Ball 2018, where I took the World title at the Closed Silver level. Now I return to try my hand at the Open level.
I’ll just tell you upfront that this isn’t one of those “do this because it works” posts. This is one of those “I’m freaking out and writing about it helps me process” posts.
I’m officially in the high anxiety part of my pre-competition journey. Less than two weeks to go!
18 days until Embassy Ball, and the emotional rollercoaster ride is in full swing. Confidence comes and goes depending on how my solo practice or lesson went. I know it’s all part of the process, but geez, can’t I just skip to the end when I’m super confident and balanced in my routines?
I’d like to start this piece by sharing that I practiced for about two hours this morning and the ache in my knees only got up to a 1, maybe a light 2 on the pain scale, which is awesome!
I can officially say I’m competing at the end of this month. Entries have been submitted, makeup has been booked, and I’m pulling together some final accessories for my dress. Pieces are coming together. It’s happening!
Only a month until I return to the competition floor!
I’m having the worst time deciding how I want to start this blog post, so I’m writing this sentence just so there is something written. Maybe it will start flowing from here.
Or we can skip to the end – I had a simply wonderful time at Desert Classic this past week! It was the perfect mix of work and pleasure and left me feeling relaxed and fulfilled. I had a couple moments watching the competition when I felt that bittersweet wish to be the one on the dance floor, not in the audience, but actually those moments were far fewer than I expected. I was too busy enjoying myself, cheering others on, and connecting with dance friends, both new and old.
This countdown series certainly took a different turn from my other competition countdown series. Although, it isn’t the first one in which I ended up not competing. That’s part of the fun of blogging about my journey as it happens instead of telling a story that’s already over; not even I know what’s going to happen next!
I thought this post would be coming out next week, but the wait ended early. If you’ve been following along, you know Teacher and I set a go/no-go date by which we would do a final assessment of our Open routines and decide if they would be ready to debut at Desert Classic. I was determined to get them ready, as I’ve grown weary of sitting on the sidelines since my last competition at the end of August. But as Treebeard liked to say, don’t be hasty. Being determined is one thing. Actually being ready is another.
To keep you from shivering too much from anticipation, I’ll just come out with it.
(Bonus points to those who can name the movie references.)
Are you ready?
This question can have very simple implications or very deep ones. If I asked you one morning if you were ready for work, you’d run a simple checklist through your head and be able to quickly respond yes or no. But if I asked you if you were ready for the big presentation at work that took you months of preparation, you might hesitate as you processed last minute jitters and considered more than just a checklist to determine your readiness.
Same can be applied to ballroom (and really, what can’t?). Are you ready for your lesson? Simple yes or no. Are you ready for your last lesson before your competition? You might need a little more time to consider.