Sometimes You Just Gotta Check Out

If you’ve followed this blog for awhile, you may have noticed that I typically post a new article every weekend, with the occasional bonus guest post or interview in the middle of the week. Last weekend, I decided not to post. In fact, last weekend I decided to check out of several of my usual activities, including watching or reading the news and checking in on my social media feeds.

It was all part of my election week selfcare plan.

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After Seven Months, I’m Still Grieving

It’s been over seven months since the pandemic sent me home to work at my kitchen table until further notice. In addition to packing up my cubicle, I had to clear my schedule. The ballroom dance competition where I was going to debut in a new style, the wine-tasting trip that a close friend and I were taking to celebrate our birthdays, the cruise to Alaska with my mom — it was all wiped away by our unwelcome guest, SARS-CoV-2…

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It’s the Little Things

As we advance along our ballroom dance journey, the fixes, adjustments and tweaks we make to create higher quality movement become smaller and smaller. We learn what the steps are, how to do those steps, and then how to actually dance in between and through the steps. Each level builds on the one before it. This process can get frustrating though because every time you start to think you know what you’re doing, you find out you’ve barely scratched the surface.

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Guest Post: Journey of Healing Through Dance

Patrick Bailey, a fellow writer, reached out to me recently. He has a close friend who, like so many of us, discovered the healing powers of dance. Here is her story, as told to Patrick.

If you are struggling with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety or addiction, please know you’re not alone. Help is available. Reaching out for support is a sign of strength, not weakness.

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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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The Times, They Are a-Changin’ (or Are They?)

Does anyone else feel like the last week took a month to pass? It was my first full week of adapting to the new reality we find ourselves in. Two Fridays ago, my company ordered everyone who could work from home to do so until further notice. On Monday, the county I live in issued an order (and then a revised order) restricting private and public gatherings, and then the state of California issued a “stay at home” order effective beginning Thursday until further notice.

It’s been stressful and surreal to experience so many changes in such a short time. No surprise that my anxiety was high and focusing on work became more difficult every day. Finally, on Friday, a mindset shift and a trip to my dad’s apartment helped me release some of the tension.

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Dancing in the Time of COVID-19

We are living through some crazy times right now. I received official orders from the day job on Friday to work from home until further notice (we haven’t had any positive cases, but the company decided to play it safe). I went to five different stores on my way home and none of them had a single roll of toilet paper (I’m down to two “mega” rolls so I’ll be fine for a little while, but yeesh!). Major sporting events and huge theme parks are shutting down. Even the ballroom world is being hit hard with dance competitions being cancelled or postponed, and group classes and practice parties at local dance studios being cancelled until further notice.

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