2020 Intentions – Dance and Otherwise

A nice perk to having a diary-style blog like this is I don’t have to strain my overworked brain to remember what I was doing at this time last year. I can just look back at my blog posts.

This time last year, I was doing the same thing I’m doing now – setting goals for the new year and reminding myself to stay flexible in how I reach those goals. “Committed but not attached” is how my business coach put it. I’ve gone through this process enough to know exactly how to apply the SMART framework to my goals, but I still haven’t broken the bad habit of jumping ahead and overwhelming myself with everything that needs to be done. I’ve also gone through this process enough to know that I need to just focus on the next step, not the next 20 steps.

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2019 Reflections

Only a couple days left in 2019! This past year had plenty of challenges, transitions and triumphs that spanned across the different areas of my life. My business coaches challenged my entrepreneur group to make a list of 20 wins for the year. It was hard to come up with more than a few obvious ones at first (competing at the Open level, publishing the two journals), but the more I looked back, the more I realized how much I did! It’s motivating in a way – if I was able to do so much in 2019, how much potential is there to do even more in 2020?!

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Ode to Vincent – My Film Debut

Following up from last week, I’m pleased to report that my apartment now has a few more holiday decorations scattered strategically around the living room. I even baked eggnog scones yesterday and today, I’m working on a loaf of challah bread (taking advantage of the fact that this week is both Hanukkah AND Christmas).

Another follow-up from last week’s blog post, the short film I wrote about was released on YouTube! I was in awe of how Lindsey Cira, the woman behind the piece, edited all of the elements together to create an absolutely beautiful final product!

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All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Dancer

Happy holidays, dancers! I was gifted a poinsettia today, so that means I have officially started decorating the apartment for Christmas. Between getting sick immediately after Thanksgiving and a packed schedule, I just haven’t had much time to clean and break out the holiday decor. I’m sure Santa will understand if the poinsettia is as far as I get.

I know some of you have been busy too with end-of-the-year competitions including Ohio Star Ball, South Open Dancesport and Holiday Dance Classic. It dawned on me after my last lesson that it’s only two months until my first competition goal of 2020 (California Open). I had a brief “oh shit” moment as the doubts all popped up like prairie dogs in my brain. It still feels like I have so much work to do!

That work isn’t what I wanted to write about today though. Recent experiences have reminded me how important it is to just tap into your creativity and play.

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Using Floor Craft in Real Life

Quick reminder! The Solo Practice Guide giveaway on Twitter ends December 10! Get your entries in by then! See my pinned tweet on how to enter.

Some weeks, I log onto WordPress and I know exactly what I want to share with you. Other weeks, I stare at a blank blog post begging me to “start writing” and I got nothing.

This week is somewhere in between. Ideas are swirling without settling long enough for me to see them clearly, so I’m just going to trust the flow of my creative process and see where we end up! Care to wander with me?

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The Solo Practice Guide and DanceVision

Coming to you midweek to share something exciting! Back in the beginning of November, I had the chance to sit down with Wayne Eng and chat about The Solo Practice Guide for Ballroom Dancing. If you don’t recognize the name, Wayne is the owner of DanceVision, the largest producer of ballroom dance educational materials including the DVIDA syllabus and a huge library of training videos. He’s also the owner of Emerald Ball Dancesport Championships and one of the organizers of the United States Dance Championships. Needless to say, Wayne’s a busy man, so just the fact that we could find a date and time when we were both available was exciting!

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Dancer Holiday Gift Guide

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The world starts to look almost as sparkly as a ballroom competition. We’ll be eating too much and enjoying every bite. The same ten holiday songs will play on the radio until the end of the year. Families get together to eat, laugh, argue, and then eat and laugh some more.

Then there’s the gift giving and receiving. While I don’t care much for shopping in general, I love finding the perfect gift for someone. Something that will light them up and they’ll actually use.

If you’re shopping this week for the perfect gift for the dancer in your life (maybe it’s you!), check out these options that I’ve curated from personal experience and that support other dancers.

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What if you never “make it”?

I have a bad habit of getting too far ahead of myself and then when I look back to where I am now, the gap appears so huge that I start to lose hope that I’ll ever close it. Ever happen to you? Maybe you see someone else more advanced in the dance studio and think you’ll never be able to reach that level. If you’re like me, you might even wonder if you should just give up now.

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Dance Journals Now Available on Amazon

A Journal for the Whole Dance Journey and The Choreography Journal are now available on the largest online marketplace in the world. Yay!

It’s official. The Girl with the Tree Tattoo now has FIVE publications on Amazon! I’m feeling legit.

Being designed by a dancer (me!), these journals are specifically designed to help you take ownership of your dance journey and gain more clarity, confidence and joy in your dancing.

How do they do that? First, studies have shown that the mere act of writing something down helps solidify it in your brain. You retain more of the ideas and concepts that you physically write on paper.

Second, these journals provide guidance and structure without being rigid. I’m constantly encouraging you to take ownership of your dance journey because it’s yours! It would be weird and a bit of an asshole move to then present you with journals that were designed to record notes in one particular way, force you to complete prompts or end up with blank pages, or restrict you to a certain timeframe.

A Journal for the Whole Dance Journey prompts you but if you want to just write freely, you can write right over them. Setting goals and commitments to yourself are important to your journey, so you will be presented with pages specifically for setting these types of intentions. But you decide what type of goals you set.

The Choreography Journal provides structural space to map out your routines in multiple ways, but no matter which method works best for you, everyone will have room to write up to 10 dances. You don’t lose out just because you see your dances on paper differently.

So go check them out, and please help me spread the word by sharing the links with your dance friends. Happy dancing!