A Review of Desert Classic 2019 From the Sidelines

I’m having the worst time deciding how I want to start this blog post, so I’m writing this sentence just so there is something written. Maybe it will start flowing from here.

Or we can skip to the end – I had a simply wonderful time at Desert Classic this past week! It was the perfect mix of work and pleasure and left me feeling relaxed and fulfilled. I had a couple moments watching the competition when I felt that bittersweet wish to be the one on the dance floor, not in the audience, but actually those moments were far fewer than I expected. I was too busy enjoying myself, cheering others on, and connecting with dance friends, both new and old.

Continue reading

Countdown to Desert Classic 2019: 17 Days – Go/No-Go

I thought this post would be coming out next week, but the wait ended early. If you’ve been following along, you know Teacher and I set a go/no-go date by which we would do a final assessment of our Open routines and decide if they would be ready to debut at Desert Classic. I was determined to get them ready, as I’ve grown weary of sitting on the sidelines since my last competition at the end of August. But as Treebeard liked to say, don’t be hasty. Being determined is one thing. Actually being ready is another.

To keep you from shivering too much from anticipation, I’ll just come out with it.

(Bonus points to those who can name the movie references.)

Continue reading

Countdown to Desert Classic 2019: 26 Days – How To Tell If You’re “Ready”

Are you ready?

This question can have very simple implications or very deep ones. If I asked you one morning if you were ready for work, you’d run a simple checklist through your head and be able to quickly respond yes or no. But if I asked you if you were ready for the big presentation at work that took you months of preparation, you might hesitate as you processed last minute jitters and considered more than just a checklist to determine your readiness.

Same can be applied to ballroom (and really, what can’t?). Are you ready for your lesson? Simple yes or no. Are you ready for your last lesson before your competition? You might need a little more time to consider.

Continue reading

Financing My Dancing Dreams

This past week, I posted on social media about finally having my “oh shit” moment about competing at Desert Classic. Six weeks and four days to go! Teacher said we needed to make sure we had a game plan and pick a go/no-go date. He believed we’d be ready, but with me only taking one lesson per week, I had to be on point with my solo practices.

Then of course, as we went through Waltz, everything I wasn’t solid on yet came to light and it all congealed into this icky coat of self-doubt. Shit.

Continue reading

Our Bodies Are Meant to Move

Did you see my social media post from a few days ago?  I finally got the green light from my physical therapist to dance full out in my lesson. No more marking or holding back! I was excited, relieved, and a little nervous. I was tired of having to hold back. I just wanted to dance!  But what if my knees didn’t do well? What if I regressed right back to the pain I was experiencing before starting PT?

Interestingly, I did feel like I took a step back this week, but not because of dancing. Quite the opposite.

Continue reading

My First Reiki Experience

As you probably know, I’ve been dealing with knee injuries for the past couple months. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine invited me to try a different kind of treatment: Reiki therapy. My friend Ritika Rose is a certified advanced Reiki practitioner, certified Life Coach, and a licensed Occupational Therapist (among other things, this girl has led a full life!). I had never had a Reiki session before. I typically default to Western medicine for treating illness and injury; that’s just what I grew up with. I also like to be open to new experiences, and what better way to try something new than with a trusted friend! Of course, if it’s something that contributes to my dance journey, I’ll share it here too. So read on to find out what my first Reiki session was like!

Continue reading

Is Dance a Relatable Art Form? Part 2

Welcome back, dancers!

Last time, I told you about a podcast I had listened to that really got the gears turning in the brain. I pondered the question, “why isn’t dance as relatable as other performance art forms like acting or singing?” I concluded that connection and shared experience were key. It’s easier for an audience to connect with actors and singers through a shared experience. Dance has a dualistic experience that happens externally and internally at the same time, and dancers don’t need an audience in order to feel fulfilled in their dancing. If a dancer isn’t able to bring the internal part of the experience out so the audience can connect to it, the audience won’t be able to connect and relate to the dance performance. As the panelists in the podcast episode discussed, this lack of relatability could be a major factor in how publicly successful dancers can be, compared to actors or singers.

So how can we make dance more relatable?

Continue reading