Express Yourself! In the Studio Vs. the Club (Write31Days Day 4)

It’s funny, I made a list of topics for this 31-day challenge, but have yet to actually follow that list.  One post just leads me to another post.  But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that things aren’t going as planned.  When do they ever?

Last year, I started a series on my first blog, The Uphill Factor, titled “Express Yourself!”  Teacher was starting to bring up the need for more emotional expression from me while I was dancing, and naturally, I wrote about my struggles:

Express Yourself!
Express Yourself! Part 2 – Tango Curses
Express Yourself! Part 3 – Butt and Boobs
Express Yourself! Part 4: No, Really, Express Yourself!

Continue reading

Advertisements

Countdown to USDC – 18 Days: “I Am Significant!”

I needed a pep talk to offset the negative voices in my head. I thought there might be others needing one too. So I decided to publish what I came up with.

“I’m not good enough.”  “I don’t matter.”  “I’m ugly.”  “I’m unlovable.”  “I don’t deserve to succeed.”

Everyone has thoughts like these.  They usually originate from an external source, either direct or indirect. Sometimes from a trusted source. A careless comment or dismissive question can burrow deep in our brains and fester into something much more sinister. Someone you love and trust asks you why you bother doing what you do, it’s not like it’s going to take you anywhere. And, if you’re like me, the demons in your head latch onto that comment like it’s a precious metal and twist it and build it up until, in your dark moments, you find yourself thinking why am I doing this, I’m not good enough to “make it,” what’s the point.

Continue reading

Countdown to USDC – 21 Days: Team Match and a Silver Debut

I’ve lucked out twice now with my studio holding a team match shortly before I’m to go to a big competition. Team matches are great to use as rehearsals for the “real thing” because you get the structure of a competition without the stress. Or in my case, with less stress (it never leaves me entirely). This one was especially important because it allowed me to try out my new silver routines!

Before the team match, I had never done a complete round of all four silver routines with Teacher, causing me just a little anxiety (ok, a LOT of anxiety). Adding to that stress was the uncomfortable feeling of being unprepared because I still didn’t know all of my silver choreography. I could follow Teacher, but I had no idea what we were doing. To me, it was like starring in a play and not knowing all of my lines. I would have Teacher essentially feeding me lines during the performance, but that meant I had to direct more thought power to what the next line was instead of how I was going to deliver it. It also almost feels like half-assing it, like I didn’t bother studying for a test because I was going to be able to take it with a partner. I’m just not that kind of student. Plus, as the article about introverts that I shared stated, I need to feel prepared.

So how did the team match go?

Continue reading

Still Two Months to Go or Only Two Months to Go!

I thought I had more time, but apparently the countdown to USDC, a.k.a. Nationals, has begun. Teacher comes to me at the beginning of our lesson on Wednesday and says “Ok! Two months to go! We need to schedule them! Double lesson on Friday! And then next week…!!” The man was pumped up! And he didn’t slow down once through the whole lesson as he whipped out brand new Viennese waltz and foxtrot silver routines, raced through showing me the steps while also coaching me on the arm styling and shaping, danced them once or twice with me, skipped across the studio to put music on to dance them to music, and then, with a big smile on his face, said “Perfect! How did that feel?”

Uuhh, not perfect. What was the first step again?

I think we were on two different lessons.

I think we were on two different lessons.

Continue reading

Who Are You Dancing For?

You know those people who draw everyone’s attention when they walk into a room? Whether it’s their walk or their smile or their eyes or everything about their body language, people notice them. I am not one of those people. I am one of those people who slips in unnoticed and hangs around for 20 minutes before someone says “oh, when did you get here?!” I generally avoid the spotlight. I’ve pushed myself to let some inner light shine through in my dancing. But I still tend to retreat to the shadows as soon as I can. Unfortunately, I will not be able to go after a national title in the shadows. Shucks.

Continue reading

Put Yourself Out There!

wpid-photofancie_2015_04_06_18_13_34.jpeg

I just added a photo gallery to the website!  Just a few shots from the competitions and showcases I’ve done to date.  I plan on adding a page with links to some videos from my competitions as well. Honestly, I had the gallery pretty much ready to go about a week ago.  But I didn’t want to hit “publish.” It’s scary to put yourself out there!  It’s one thing to write about my competitions, but to add visual aids and announce “here I am!”… Yikes. It’s a risky thing to open yourself up to the opinions of others. Especially when you know you aren’t perfect, you’re still learning, and therefore, you’re more vulnerable to criticism.
Continue reading