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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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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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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Remember Why You Dance

Haters gonna hate, but I’m too busy dancing to notice.

The Girl with the Tree Tattoo

I met up with a dance friend last week and our conversation inspired me to share an important message on social media and now with you here on this blog.

The ballroom world, like any other sport, has its dark side. There are the stories of studios or teachers pressuring or manipulating students into buying more lessons than they need or signing up for events they’re not ready for. You don’t need to spend much time in the competitive world before you start hearing stories of certain dancers being favored over others because of who they dance with, who their coaches are, or how much money they spend at competitions.

Then there is the gossip, petty remarks and judge-y comments about people’s partnerships, costumes, dancing abilities, whether or not they’re getting special treatment from whomever and why, etc., etc.

It’s so easy to get sucked into the dark side of ballroom and get caught up in the gossip and pettiness. But to be frank, I ain’t got the time or the energy for that nonsense, and I don’t want you to waste your time or energy either.

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Getting Back on Track

In the last two weeks, I’ve had two back-to-back conferences (two days and three days) plus a one-on-one meetup about business, I’ve been interviewed twice about the books and journals I’ve published, and I consulted on interviews with other dancers. And I still managed to feed myself and my dogs and get to the day job on time. For an introvert like me, it was a LOT! While I’m grateful for all of these opportunities, I’m also grateful to be able to stay home for most of the weekend and do quieter things like write this blog post and go to the studio tomorrow for solo practice.

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Transitions and Uplevels

They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.
― Andy Warhol

Boom. Mic drop, right? For anyone wishing Life was different, what are you waiting for?

Before I elaborate, I need to remind you that we’re down to the last few hours to preorder A Journal for the Whole Dance Journey and The Choreography Journal. After today, the cart closes and the journals won’t be available again until after the preorders have been filled.

So again, I ask, “what are you waiting for?” πŸ˜‰

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Write Your Dance (Something New This Way Comes!)

I adore the written word. Ever since I was a little girl, I have preferred to communicate through writing. I was a shy kid who grew into a socially anxious young adult, so it was difficult to just talk to people, particularly if they were strangers. Writing gave me the space and time to think about what I wanted to say, see it plainly in front of me, and then modify if it came out wrong without the pressure of someone standing in front of me waiting for me to speak.

As a more-or-less well-adjusted adult, I’ve developed stronger verbal communication skills, but I still love writing (obviously). Crafting the perfect sentence is an art form to me. I geek out over grammar and how a simple comma can completely change your message.

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Beauty in the Basics

Happy to see that I’m not the only ballroom technique geek out there! I loved reading all of the comments on last week’s blog post, echoing the appreciation for technique in our dancing. The further we advance on our dance journeys, the more important technique becomes and frankly, the harder it is to apply if we didn’t establish a strong foundation in the beginning.

So how about that foundation?

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Ballroom Technique Geek

Before I forget, I want to remind everyone to sign up for the Practice Ballroom Dance mailing list if you want first dibs on the new products coming out very soon (eek! very soon!). I’ll be celebrating these new residents of my shop with special discounts and bonuses, but you have to be on the list! And don’t worry, I don’t email you very often unless I have something special for you or something dance-related came up that I think is important and you shouldn’t miss.

Ok, on to my topic for today, something I totally geek out over but others may think tedious – technique!

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