Own It

I know it’s been longer than usual since I last posted. Searching for a place to live has been stressing me out of my gourd, which has left me with some major writer’s block. Some other things have been adding to the stress level too, and with Teacher out of town last week, I didn’t have any dance lessons to provide relief. So when this inkling of an idea pushed its way to the front of my mind, I jumped on it. The block has been alerted to its presence though, so hopefully it survives long enough for me to create something worth reading. (I have this image of this dark shadow slowly creeping toward the tiny glowing creature that is my inspiration inkling.)

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“Ballroom Was My Defibrillator” – A Conversation with Elizabeth Thomson

When I first spoke with Nicholas Barkley and Elizabeth Thomson about doing an interview for the blog, I also proposed a second set of individual interviews. Their stories of how ballroom became the key to coping with their PTSD were incredible and deserved their own spaces, separate from their shared story of becoming an amateur couple.

Liz was kind enough to make time for me during one of her visits down to Orange County. We met at my studio after one of my dance lessons and talked for over an hour. While we sat stretched out on the floor of the teachers’ break room, Liz shared her journey, from enlisting in the Army to getting diagnosed with PTSD to finding relief in ballroom. Although she still struggles, ballroom has been Liz’s defibrillator. It brought her back to life and saved her from becoming “just another PTSD statistic.”

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Keeping the Faith

Hello my lovely readers!

Just a quick post tonight. I just finished up some work for the main day job. It’s been a busy week (and it’s only Wednesday!) with an extra project for the main job plus side work from the second job. That did not stop me from getting to my dance lesson tonight though.

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Post-Comp Lesson and Planning Through Fear

As promised, I’m returning to share the details of my first post-Beach Bash lesson and my plans for what’s next. I would have normally had my lesson on Friday, the day after we competed (no, I wasn’t going to take the day off), but Teacher asked if I would move to Saturday so he could fit in other students’ lessons he had to cancel on Thursday. No problem, I’ve been there! So I took the opportunity on Friday to go out to a celebratory dinner instead (if I have to take a break, it may as well include delicious food!).

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Inspiration -> Fear -> Why Not

I’ve been reading Patrice Tanaka’s Becoming Ginger Rogers. It’s a memoir and in it, Patrice shares her journey into ballroom dancing and how it changed her life. Sound familiar?

I never get tired of “life changed by ballroom” stories. Her story has so many familiar elements; it’s like reading a letter from a friend. While I was sitting in the shade by my apartment complex’s pool on Monday, she related the story of her first ballroom competition. I was, of course, instantly transported back to my own competition experiences and was struck very hard by a strong desire to be in that world again. Like right now.

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Cha Cha – The Foxtrot of Rhythm

If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know I have a love/hate relationship with foxtrot. I’m always just a little off in understanding that dance. Things never go quite right. Steps constantly elude me. It’s maddening.

At the same time, foxtrot seems so fun! The music, the slick moves, it reminds me of old Hollywood and great dancers like Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. But for whatever reason, this cat isn’t so cool when she tries to foxtrot. Foxtrot is my ballroom nemesis.

Now it seems a new villain has come to town: cha cha.

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