Hellooo lovely dancers! I am so sorry I’ve been a little absent on the blog. Things have been crazy! Nothing slowed down after I finished dancing at The Royal Ball. I didn’t even have time to jump on here to update you on how the competition went. Please allow me to remedy that now.
More than once in the past week, the issue of labels has come up. Labels like “student” and “teacher”, or “amateur” and “professional.” Seeing as I’m making new efforts in 2018 to own who I am, I thought I’d prattle on about this for a bit.
2018 is coming up fast, and like every other blogger on the world wide web, I’m reflecting on the past year and sharing my thoughts with you. Hope you don’t mind!
One of the big unexpected side effects of ballroom dancing I continue to experience is the courage to dive into my other passions. I’ve always loved creative writing, but hadn’t done it consistently in years until I started dancing, after which I started blogging. I also realized my dream of being a published author. The tree of life tattoo idea I had since high school finally fully formed in my mind after I started dancing, and then I actually got it inked!
In the Facebook group related to the Momentum ’17 challenge I’m doing, someone asked how many people were holding down a job while also trying to build their business, and besides the obvious time challenge, what their biggest challenges were related to that situation. If I haven’t already explained, this challenge is for people working on building their own brand/business, a.k.a. entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is starting to feel like a cliché to me as so many people reject the normal way of making money (i.e., get a job with an already-established company) and strike out on their own. It’s funny to think that being “self-employed” or an “entrepreneur” used to be a euphemism for “can’t get a job.” Now it’s all the rage! I’m not one to jump on trends (I frequently avoid them on principle), but I do want to be able to eventually support myself with my writing and dancing, and there’s no time like the present to start thinking of the business side of things. And when it’s a free challenge, why not!
I’ve been feeling very stalled in my dancing. This isn’t news. I have no competitions on the calendar, and scheduling conflicts all around have been messing with my lesson and practice time. As much as I preach a “don’t give up!” philosophy, walking the walk has been much harder lately.
Happy Saturday everyone! If you recall, during my dance lesson on Wednesday, I was super self-critical. I couldn’t do anything right, and every compliment Teacher gave me was drowned out by the negative noise in my head. After reflecting on the lesson, I realized I was letting my demons get the best of me again and resolved to go into Friday’s lesson with a different attitude. So I made some commitments to myself.
As usual, I did a lot of reflecting on the drive home from my lesson today. We did more rumba and cha cha. I’m finally getting a hang of the routines, but I still feel like all of my technique goes out the window when I try to dance them to music. Looking back on it a couple hours later, I guess I actually did pretty well. Teacher asked me to try a few things to work on my technique and I did them successfully (after a few tries). But it was one of those lessons where every little mistake outweighed every large success.
I think I’m going through a little ballroom withdrawal. It’s been weeks and weeks since I took a group class. My last few private lessons were a week apart due to Teacher going to comps or having other scheduling conflicts. And I haven’t been going to the studio to practice. I have all sorts of excuses, including the fact that I’m still doing things at home like the journey to splits challenge. I used to practice before and/or after group class. It worked well for me. But now that I’m not taking group, I find it’s hard to motivate myself to go to just practice on my own. This is why I fail at being a gym member. I’m much more likely to go if there is a class or something where I have other people to support me and hold me accountable. But going by myself to work by myself? I feel like I may as well save the gas and stay at home. This withdrawal coupled with anxiety over USDC and reading online how often others practice or have private lessons has me once again pondering a question my demons obsessively taunt me with: at what point can I call myself a dancer?