I went to the studio for solo practice on Sunday; it was the first time in weeks. After surviving my dance lesson last Tuesday with just a bit of swelling beneath the knee caps and hardly any aching the next day, I was optimistic. Plus, I needed to practice! My competition goal has now shifted to an event in July, but I’m still only taking one lesson a week. Solo practice is more important than ever.
So I finally saw a physical therapist this past week. A second orthopedist said I’m not doomed or anywhere near a place where I should be concerned about arthritis. Thank goodness for second opinions. There are solutions! I don’t have to dance in pain!
I was listening to the podcast DanceSpeak earlier this week, specifically episode 97 (also available on iTunes, Google Play, etc.). Normally, the episodes consist of interviews between the host, Galit Friedlander, and someone who’s found success in the dance industry. Episode 97 was different in that it was a recording of a live panel that happened at an event called Im-Power-Meant. Toward the end of the episode, someone asked the panel why they thought dancers haven’t reached the same level of public success as other performance artists like actors or singers. As I listened to the panel’s thoughts, my brain started to explode with ideas. I actually spoke the first draft of this blog post into the voice recorder on my phone while I was running errands after work on the day I listened to the podcast. There was too much I wanted to share and I didn’t want to lose any of it by the time I was ready to sit down and write.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day dancers!
Anyone have any special St. Patty’s Day traditions (aside from drinking too much)? Traditional meals? Good old fashioned folk dancing? Please share in the comments!
My day was busy, which is why this blog post is coming a little late. It started with solo practice, of course.
On January 22, 2018, I emailed the 108 people on the Solo Practice Guide mailing list about a special offer. I was ready to complete the Solo Practice Guide for Ballroom Dancing, but before I released it to the world, I wanted to test it. So I created a beta group and opened it to 10 people to help me review the Guide chapter by chapter. The result was awesomeness, and I’m so grateful to those 10 people for helping me make this dream a reality. Now that we’re reaching the one-year anniversary of that fateful day, I want to celebrate!
Do you ever feel like you’re going nowhere fast? Like you’re stuck in a hamster wheel or walking the wrong way on one of those moving walkways in the airport?
That’s how I feel on the tougher days. Those days when I feel like it doesn’t matter how hard I work, I just can’t seem to make any progress. My to-do pile at the day job is growing faster than my done pile. I practiced over and over, but I still can’t seem to get that move right in my dance lesson. I’m doing “all the things” to grow my business, but the return still feels small.
When you learn ballroom, you learn that there are rules. There are specific guidelines on how to execute a crossover break or a twinkle step. There are a million little details to remember to ensure your dancing is “right.” Different styles have different rules. You have to remain in closed frame when dancing Standard. You’re supposed to arrive on a straight leg in Latin. The follower’s left hand hooks under the lead’s arm in Tango and rests on top in Waltz.
So many rules to learn and abide by. I don’t mind actually. For the most part, I am a rule follower. I like the structure that the rules of ballroom dancing provide because I like to have a way to know if I’m “right” or “wrong.” Call it a leftover impulse from being a good student in school or a symptom of my need for external validation.
This past Saturday, I spent pretty much my entire day at the studio to attend an American Smooth dance camp. My studio holds these all-day camps at least once a quarter, and usually two in a row – one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Both amateur and professional ballroom dancers attend the classes, sometimes sharing classes and sometimes splitting into separate groups. All have their heads filled with dance knowledge from top-level coaches.
Have you had the opportunity to attend workshops like these but wondered if it would be too much for you or you weren’t “good enough” yet?
Even at the risk of being overwhelmed, you should definitely include these kind of workshops or dance camps in your dance training, in my humble opinion. Here’s why:
Whether you started your dance training at 3, 30 or 70, one trait I’m sure we share as dancers is we are some of the most self-critical creatures on the planet. That means small disappointments can have big impacts on our psyches.
Check out my guest post on The Whole Dancer about how I’ve learned to dance through disappointment.