Guest Post: We Are TIRED!

Last month, I attended an online webinar titled “Racial Representation in Ballroom.” Ballroom dance is very much a white-dominated style of dance, but why? What is preventing everyone else from experiencing this art/sport that we adore? How do we bring greater diversity to the ballroom world?

It was these types of questions that the hosts of webinars wanted to explore. I was so impressed by the information provided and the open and honest discussion that took place, that I had to reach out to the people behind the webinar with a request to share their mission with my readers.

The ballroom dance floor is where I finally connected with my true self and found the courage to show that true self to others. I know many of you have had similar experiences. I hate to think anyone anywhere has been made to feel, intentionally or unintentionally, that they didn’t belong on that floor because of who they were. Which is why I believe this group’s mission is so important.

So without further ado, please welcome to the blog, The TIRED Movement!

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Learning to Lead

I did something different in this past week’s ballroom lesson: I learned to lead! Traditionally, men lead and women follow in the ballroom dances. However, it’s very common outside of the U.S. to see female couples competing in ballroom, especially in younger or more beginner levels, simply because there aren’t enough boys to act as partners. You see my soul sister Fran leading in group classes and on the competition floor in the classic movie Strictly Ballroom.

Strictly Ballroom (1992)

Why learn to lead?

First of all, it’s a fun challenge to reverse roles as a ballroom dancer! I’ve always had an interest in learning the leader role of ballroom dances because only learning the follower role meant I was only really learning half of the dance. Learning what your partner needs to do and what they need you to do creates a better understanding of the partnership as a whole, which can only lead to a better connection and more enjoyable dancing together. Understanding how to cue a lead can also help you recognize when someone else is trying to cue you as a follower.

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Solo Practice is More Fun with Friends!

My relationship with solo dance practice was born out of necessity. I needed a way to improve as a dancer that didn’t come with a financial cost. The Solo Practice Guide for Ballroom Dancing was born out of my need to improve as a dancer without a financial cost and with a limited time requirement. The framework I developed for my solo practice sessions worked wonders. I grew in strength, balance and confidence. Lessons with Teacher were more productive. Other coaches noticed the improvements in my dancing when I competed. I became a World Champion!

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Dancing Through Feelings

It probably won’t come as a surprise that my plans for this week’s post shifted dramatically on Friday. Something exciting happened just the day before that I couldn’t wait to share with you! If you follow me on social media, then you already know. 😉 Earlier in the week, the work being done on the roof was officially complete with the last section of wood trim painted. It was shaping up to be a pretty good week! And then it was Friday.

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Dancing in Multiple Directions

I left the house to go dancing three days this week. It almost felt reminiscent of pre-pandemic life, except the variety of dance here is much greater. It’s a different experience working on different dances through the week instead of continuously building on my ballroom skills. My personal dance world is expanding as I learn and practice different styles. I’m getting to meet different people who all love to dance, but in different ways. It feels a little aimless, but as you’ll find out, I’m feeling better about that aspect.

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Going with the Flow is Scary

Photo by Jacob Colvin on Pexels.com

We plan, God laughs.

Yiddish proverb

It’s March already, and while I’m not surprised that there is still a foot of snow on the ground, I am surprised and disappointed that I’m not back to taking ballroom lessons. I shouldn’t be surprised because I was there at every turn that delayed my return to ballroom. Always a good reason! But silly me still didn’t want to let go of her original plans.

If any four words were to sum up Life, it would be these four: We plan, God laughs.

You can interpret it in different ways, but I see it as a reminder that we cannot control the world around us. The Earth keeps rotating and Life keeps going, whether we like it or not. We try every day to control or at least predict, what the future will bring, but the best we manage is an illusion.

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A Winter Tango and the Passage of Time

It was another week of weather up here in Maine! Last Sunday, I spent about 2.5 hours shoveling snow after Winter Storm Kenan. It’s been decades since I’ve shoveled that much snow; I was so sore on Monday!

I still went to my 90-minute ballet class on Monday evening. I knew it would be an “interesting” challenge. My body was exhausted and anyone who’s taken ballet knows it’s not easy even when you’re feeling tip top! So no surprise – my pirouettes went from “not great” to “really bad.” Focusing on maintaining form when your energy is waning is a great way to build up stamina though! I did not have that positive of an attitude while I was falling across the floor in front of everyone, but at least I gave myself a break because I knew I was tired.

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