When Your Number Isn’t Called, Remember Why You Danced

I entered a writing competition in August on Medium. There were four categories – Space, Death, Reentry and Work. I wrote articles for the first two:

Space

According to Society’s Expectations, I’ve Failed At Life

Death

For Whom the Flyswatter Sings

The winners were just announced. I did not win any prize or receive any honorable mention. I didn’t expect to, honestly. There were about 10,000 entries between the four categories! I didn’t maximize my chances by entering all four categories, and more importantly, I still have plenty to learn and explore when it comes to writing.

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What Do You Believe About Yourself As a Dancer?

A few weeks ago, I attended a workshop hosted by my mindset/personal development/creative/just generally awesome coach, during which we did an exercise that involved listing things you believed to be true about yourself. This wasn’t meant to be a self-roast or pity party; the goal was to identify positive things. The question then came up – is it really being honest to only list positive things and ignore the negative?

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com
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Learning to Trust My Power

Can you relate to this?

You’re working on a piece of choreography with your teacher. They tell you you’re doing fine but you’re holding back, you need to let go of your doubts and just go for it. Finally, you do! Your teacher is thrilled, and you’re happy and surprised. And then you freak out internally because this expression of power and confidence in yourself caught you off guard. Like a rubber band being stretched long and then snapping back to its original size, you have this urge to retreat back to a safer, smaller space where you feel less vulnerable.

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The Purpose of Dance

If you follow me on social media, you got a sneak peek of today’s blog post. Yesterday, I asked if my fellow dancers were planning on returning to their regularly scheduled dance life as soon as it was feasible, or if they felt like they were entering a different chapter of their dance story. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Pre-pandemic, my dance life was focused on competition. 2020 was set up to be my most ambitious competition season yet. Four and a half months later, I’m asking myself whether that focus is still true.

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A Mind for Dancing

Clarity of mind leads to clarity of dancing.

The Girl with the Tree Tattoo

Mindset has been on my mind lately. I find it fascinating how our perception and attitude can have a profound effect on our behavior and experiences. If you walk into the studio with the mindset that you’re going to have a great time working through challenges with your teacher versus walking in with the mindset that it’s just going to be another lesson full of mistakes, you’re going to wind up with two very different experiences. Even if you make the same number of mistakes.

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One Impossible Thing at a Time

Tomorrow marks a full month of working from home. Time has been moving at an erratic pace. It feels like months since I had a dance lesson, years since I last competed, and yet, have I really been home for an entire month already?

Week 4 of staying at home brought its own challenges, but I held fast to the idea of pacing myself. Finding the right pace turned out to be one of the challenges, and the search continues.

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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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