The Merging of Practice Ballroom Dance and TGWTTT

They were basically the same place anyway.

Somewhere along my entrepreneurship journey, wrapped up in hustle culture, I got it in my head that I needed a separate place for each piece of The Girl with the Tree Tattoo brand – the blog, the shop, the email list – they all needed their own home. Once I moved to Maine, as I continued to bask in the natural beauty of my own home and felt no need or desire to go anywhere else, I started to wonder why did The Girl need to be so spread out?

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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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New on Stance on Dance – A Dancer in the Woods

You may recall my sharing not too long ago that I had contributed an article to Stance on Dance’s first print publication. In it, I reflected on my move from Southern California to Midcoast Maine and the impact it has had on my dance journey.

If you didn’t get a copy of the printed version, the article is now available on Stance on Dance’s website! Enjoy. 🙂

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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On Your Dance Journey, Not Every Week Will Be Filled With Dancing

A common result of getting bitten by the ballroom bug is diving headfirst into all things ballroom dance. In the beginning of my ballroom journey, I went to multiple group classes each week on top of my private lessons. I’d show up to my lesson an hour or two early just to spend more time in the studio and be in that dancing environment. I never missed a practice party.

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