Six Years Ago, I Thought My Competition Days Were Over

I don’t think I belong here.

That thought echoed in my head as I watched the pro-am American Rhythm session at the 2014 Holiday Dance Classic, held at the Tropicana in Las Vegas. It was my second competition as a pro-am ballroom student. I was there to dance American Smooth at the Bronze level. Smooth wasn’t until the next day, but Teacher was competing with other students in Rhythm and I wanted to show my support.

All morning, I watched ladies on the floor, dancing in rhinestones, feathers and fringe. During one of his breaks, Teacher pointed out students who seemed to be at almost every competition. I learned that some pro-am students were wealthy enough to fly themselves and their teachers around the country all year, dancing hundreds of entries at one competition after another.

And then there was me.

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Risky Dancing

It’s been seven months since the first pandemic shutdown in my area. Many sectors of society have reopened, some with restrictions. I continue to work from home and have all of my groceries delivered. Still, my dance lessons and physical therapy appointments bring me out of my apartment complex on a regular basis, so I’m not a complete hermit. Life moves forward.

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Is it worth competing if the game is rigged?

As a rule, I avoid dance politics, gossip and the like. Things like these do nothing to improve my dancing or my life in general; they only distract and upset me. Sometimes though, they can be hard to avoid. When I hear more than one of my fellow dancers questioning whether it’s worth competing at all because of the politics, I feel compelled to say something.

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Countdown to the First Competition of 2020: 6 Days – What?!

I know what you’re thinking. I said California Open was going to be my first competition this year, and that’s still a month away. So what the heck is in 6 days??

Surprise! I’ve entered another competition!

It was only about a week ago that I decided to enter, which is very unlike me. It is however very like me to act quickly when a clear opportunity presents itself that aligns with my goals.

So what is this opportunity? For a moment, I thought about not telling you until the very end of the blog post, but decided that would be silly and mean, so let’s cut to the chase.

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Countdown to Embassy Ball 2019: 4 Days -Final Preparations

Seeing “4 days” written out feels a lot sooner than just thinking “Thursday” in my head. It’s so close! After a year of financial roadblocks, physical injuries, and training at a more advanced level all at the same time, I’m finally returning to the competition floor. My last competition was Embassy Ball 2018, where I took the World title at the Closed Silver level. Now I return to try my hand at the Open level.

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Countdown to Embassy Ball 2019: 25 Days – Pulling the Pieces Together

I’d like to start this piece by sharing that I practiced for about two hours this morning and the ache in my knees only got up to a 1, maybe a light 2 on the pain scale, which is awesome!

I can officially say I’m competing at the end of this month. Entries have been submitted, makeup has been booked, and I’m pulling together some final accessories for my dress. Pieces are coming together. It’s happening!

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Recovering from a Bad Day

We all have bad days. Sometimes it feels like one thing after another goes wrong. Or we just wake up on the wrong side of the bed and can’t seem to ever get going.

It’s kind of like lemon juice on a paper cut when that bad day affects our dance lesson or practice. For whatever reason, we keep dancing left when our teacher wants us to dance right. Everything we thought we had in our muscle memory is coming up “file not found.”

It sucks, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.

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