How to Cope with Loss – Part 1: Mourning the Untimely Death of My Future Self

We’ve all experienced great loss in one form or another. The cancellation of my trip to USDC is a great loss for me. As a way to cope and heal and, as always, to expose my darkness to the light in the hope of someone relating, I’ve decided to document the aftermath in a blog series. This is Part 1. I have no idea how many parts there will be ultimately. As many as are needed, I suppose.
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Who Are You Dancing For?

You know those people who draw everyone’s attention when they walk into a room? Whether it’s their walk or their smile or their eyes or everything about their body language, people notice them. I am not one of those people. I am one of those people who slips in unnoticed and hangs around for 20 minutes before someone says “oh, when did you get here?!” I generally avoid the spotlight. I’ve pushed myself to let some inner light shine through in my dancing. But I still tend to retreat to the shadows as soon as I can. Unfortunately, I will not be able to go after a national title in the shadows. Shucks.

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What Does the Girl Do When She Can’t Dance?

I’m in the second week of “can’t afford group classes or practice time” month and doing my best to stay busy so I don’t get hit with some major withdrawal symptoms. I’m usually at the studio three or four nights during the week for class and practice! So having only one night on the books kinda sucks. I’m anticipating July to be the same deal, not even sure I’ll manage the one class a week. We’ll cross that lousy bridge when we come to it. All for Florida and Ohio, that’s what I remind myself.  So what does the Girl do when she can’t get her dance fix? I’ve come up with a list.

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“The Art of Asking” – Launching My Patreon Page

You may have heard of musician/singer/writer Amanda Palmer. She recently published a book called “The Art of Asking.” I haven’t read it yet, but I would like to. The subtitle on the book cover reads “Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help.” Besides her creations, she is famous for being a queen of crowdfunding. It was how she was able to release her own music after leaving her record company. She did a Ted Talk in which she described her time as a street performer and made her living off people’s willingness to give her money. She talked about being criticized and harassed for not having a “real job” and for begging on the street. But she wasn’t just sitting there with a cup. She would stand frozen as a beautiful statue that would come to life and interact with whomever gave a dollar or two. It was those brief moments of connection that she was providing in return for whatever people were willing to pay for them. No matter what the critics thought, to those customers, what she was providing was worth paying for. The image of her and her patron in this bubble of satisfaction surrounded by negativity and criticism really stuck with me. Especially as I started exploring the possibility of reaching out to find my own patrons.
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Cutting Back to Move Forward or Why I Love Group Class

Can you believe it’s June already? The year is almost halfway over! A new month always means one thing: new bills to pay. After paying rent, a utility bill, and a credit card bill all at once, I thought I better take another look at my projected budget for the next few months. I have two budgets: a general one of income and expenses, so I know I’m living within my means, and a projected one, so I can see more precisely where I’ll be financially at certain times in the next few months, like when rent is due or when I need to write a check for comp entry fees. I can also better time bill paying with paychecks. It’s all very carefully planned so I can continue following these crazy ballroom dreams of mine.

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A Little Cha Cha and Connections – This is Why I Do What I Do

Just a quick post because I need to go to bed, but I won’t be able to sleep if I don’t share these things now.

One: I was having a “meh” Monday.  What Monday isn’t “meh”?  In any case, I went to the studio to take a cha cha group class. I was on the fence about going because I was really tired and kept getting stuck in my head about a bunch of things, not all dance-related. But I hadn’t been to a group class in awhile and I haven’t done cha cha in an even longer while, so off I went. It was exactly what I needed.  Lucky me, it was just me and one guy, so we ended up with a semi-private lesson. Forty-five minutes later and I didn’t feel so tired and my troubles didn’t seem so bad. And as I drove home, I thought this is it!  This is why I spend all this money on this ballroom nonsense. It makes me feel good! It makes me happy!  All of my anxieties and fears over performance and wanting to be accepted and feel like I belong, those are born out of the “extra” stuff that surrounds the dance. And I like that extra stuff too. I like pushing myself to improve and challenging myself at competition. I want those anxieties and fears brought to the surface so I can finally see what they’re really made of and work on exorcising them! But it’s nice to be able to take a break and just do a little cha cha.

Two: I was so very honored to read a quote from my last post as the starting line to the latest post on Facing Diagonal Wall. Because this is why I blog. To connect with people, to inspire people, to encourage people. I feel so blessed to have connected with so many bloggers through the Ballroom Village in such a short time. Big thank you to the Biggest Girl in the Ballroom for inviting me to be a part of this awesome group!

This evening has made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and even a little teary-eyed! I hope I can continue to connect with people, support them in their pursuit of their passion, guide them in battles against their demons, and inspire them to do whatever makes them want to dance!

I want you to know that you all rock.  Every single one of you.

Sweet dreams!

Countdown to Emerald – 2 Days: Fighting for the Dreams of a Servant Girl

Emerald Ball’s countdown clock has less than 1 day, but since I’m not dancing until the second day of the comp, I’m giving my countdown an extra day.  I took a prescribed break from ballroom over the weekend.  Teacher says I’m ready, and I feel ready more or less.  But with the few comps I’ve done, there has always been a time right before the big day when the sheer cost of everything hits me hard and I once again question what I’m doing. For this comp, that time came this past Saturday night.

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