The Times, They Are a-Changin’ (or Are They?)

Does anyone else feel like the last week took a month to pass? It was my first full week of adapting to the new reality we find ourselves in. Two Fridays ago, my company ordered everyone who could work from home to do so until further notice. On Monday, the county I live in issued an order (and then a revised order) restricting private and public gatherings, and then the state of California issued a “stay at home” order effective beginning Thursday until further notice.

It’s been stressful and surreal to experience so many changes in such a short time. No surprise that my anxiety was high and focusing on work became more difficult every day. Finally, on Friday, a mindset shift and a trip to my dad’s apartment helped me release some of the tension.

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Dancing in the Time of COVID-19

We are living through some crazy times right now. I received official orders from the day job on Friday to work from home until further notice (we haven’t had any positive cases, but the company decided to play it safe). I went to five different stores on my way home and none of them had a single roll of toilet paper (I’m down to two “mega” rolls so I’ll be fine for a little while, but yeesh!). Major sporting events and huge theme parks are shutting down. Even the ballroom world is being hit hard with dance competitions being cancelled or postponed, and group classes and practice parties at local dance studios being cancelled until further notice.

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2020 Intentions – Dance and Otherwise

A nice perk to having a diary-style blog like this is I don’t have to strain my overworked brain to remember what I was doing at this time last year. I can just look back at my blog posts.

This time last year, I was doing the same thing I’m doing now – setting goals for the new year and reminding myself to stay flexible in how I reach those goals. “Committed but not attached” is how my business coach put it. I’ve gone through this process enough to know exactly how to apply the SMART framework to my goals, but I still haven’t broken the bad habit of jumping ahead and overwhelming myself with everything that needs to be done. I’ve also gone through this process enough to know that I need to just focus on the next step, not the next 20 steps.

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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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Using Floor Craft in Real Life

Quick reminder! The Solo Practice Guide giveaway on Twitter ends December 10! Get your entries in by then! See my pinned tweet on how to enter.

Some weeks, I log onto WordPress and I know exactly what I want to share with you. Other weeks, I stare at a blank blog post begging me to “start writing” and I got nothing.

This week is somewhere in between. Ideas are swirling without settling long enough for me to see them clearly, so I’m just going to trust the flow of my creative process and see where we end up! Care to wander with me?

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Dancer Holiday Gift Guide

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The world starts to look almost as sparkly as a ballroom competition. We’ll be eating too much and enjoying every bite. The same ten holiday songs will play on the radio until the end of the year. Families get together to eat, laugh, argue, and then eat and laugh some more.

Then there’s the gift giving and receiving. While I don’t care much for shopping in general, I love finding the perfect gift for someone. Something that will light them up and they’ll actually use.

If you’re shopping this week for the perfect gift for the dancer in your life (maybe it’s you!), check out these options that I’ve curated from personal experience and that support other dancers.

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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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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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