I’m writing this from my couch with ice packs on my knees because I just got home from my dance lesson, and icing my knees is what I do now after lessons and workouts. I did the same last night after I went to my first Zumba class since overdoing it at the Zumbathon. It was annoying and a little depressing how much I held myself back and still came home with sore, achy knees.
You know those days when you have all these great plans to get a lot of productive work done, and then you get nothing done? That was me last weekend. It started off in good shape. I did a 6-hour group training/working session with my business coaches on Saturday. After that, I can’t even tell you where things went wrong. In any case, obviously, I did not get this blog post written, so we’re doing it now!
Last weekend also marked the first post-Burn weekend! Our last class and final fit test was on February 14. Before I go into my final results, please allow me to paint you a picture of the previous six weeks.
I couldn’t decide on a particular topic, so I thought I’d just give you an update on my week. It was a busy week between my Burn classes, dance lessons including a coaching, and an all-day dance workshop.
I was at a dance lesson a little over a week ago, and Teacher was talking about some of the more intricate details of our open Waltz routine. These were the details that add another layer of quality and performance to the dance.
It had nothing to do with making steps fancier or more complicated. It was about activating the body in the right way at the right time to demonstrate control and awareness. Adding an extra little tick here or extending a stretch a second longer there would also demonstrate musicality and my ability to “play” within the confines of the choreography.
As he talked about one section, I thought of other sections where I knew I could go further, push deeper, or do more to create something that would make the audience go “wow.” This kind of talk excites me. It’s a deep dive into the art of the dance and gives me more opportunity to work my creative muscles.
At the same time though, as I pictured myself adding those intricate layers to my dancing, I felt a twang, like anxiety plucked one of my heartstrings.
As the clock tick-tocked its way to midnight on December 31, 2018, were you one of the millions who thought, “2019 is the year I will [get in shape/get healthy/eat better/exercise more/insert your own version here].” I was! Well, in a way.
I allowed myself to indulge in any and all treats put in front of me during the holidays, and the scale showed it. Not that I care that much about what the scale says. It’s a number that is only one variable in determining a person’s health, and is affected by so many things, you can’t put that much stock in it. That being said, the number on the scale kept creeping up. By the end of the year, I was up about 5 or 6 pounds. The thing that really pushed me to make a cliche health-related resolution though was the fact that I could feel the difference in my body. I didn’t like it.
On January 22, 2018, I emailed the 108 people on the Solo Practice Guide mailing list about a special offer. I was ready to complete the Solo Practice Guide for Ballroom Dancing, but before I released it to the world, I wanted to test it. So I created a beta group and opened it to 10 people to help me review the Guide chapter by chapter. The result was awesomeness, and I’m so grateful to those 10 people for helping me make this dream a reality. Now that we’re reaching the one-year anniversary of that fateful day, I want to celebrate!
I was talking to another student at my book signing at SM Dance Fashion yesterday. In about a year, she’s taken on learning three different styles of ballroom and has competed in two of them. She’s been able to do so much in so little time because she takes about eight lessons a day, five days a week! The one thing she hasn’t really done is practice on her own.
Then there’s me. Over my six-plus years of dancing ballroom, I’ve also learned three different styles and competed in two. I usually take two lessons a week, and I practice at least once a week for at least one hour.
The extreme differences in our dance training journeys got me thinking. I’ve said before that lessons with your teacher and your solo practice are like two sides of the same coin. But is one side more important than the other? If you’re struggling in your dancing, do you need more lessons or more practice on your own?
I saw this graphic on Instagram this weekend. Aside from the small grammatical errors (I can’t help myself), it’s quite hilarious. New Year’s Resolutions, especially those related to physical fitness, have become a cliche because of how easily they’re made and then forgotten.
Another year coming to a close. It’s cliche to say, but each one really seems to fly by quicker than the one before. Maybe I’m just getting old.
2018 was witness to some incredible accomplishments in my life:
Dancing is literally defined as moving rhythmically to music. Many of our lessons and practice time in ballroom, however, happen without music. Even when we do get to dance to music in our training, it’s not going to be the same music that we’ll dance to at competition. It seems to be a challenge unique to ballroom. I remember explaining this to people who had experience with the more mainstream dance competitions, where dancers compete with routines choreographed to specific songs, and being looked at like I was crazy.
You don’t know what music you’ll be dancing to??
Nope. And if you enter a Jack and Jill event, you won’t even know who your partner is going to be!
How do you prepare for that??