Fun fact: yesterday was my 100th post on the Girl with the Tree Tattoo! I was so tired last night that I didn’t realize it until WordPress sent me a notification. The website has only been up for about 8 months. I’m feeling accomplished!
There are only a few days left of the writing challenge. I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed the daily writings, and if you’re new to the site, I hope you’ll stick around after this challenge ends. Don’t expect any new activity on November 1 though! Honestly, I’m ready for a break.
Today I wanted to talk about trust and its critical role in ballroom dancing.
It’s been a long week. Between less than engaging projects at work, a cough that won’t go away, and struggles with my demons over my latest financial “challenges,” I was ready for Friday, on Tuesday. But we made it! Thank goodness.
For this very welcome Friday, I thought we would chat about foxtrot.
I feel like I should lighten the mood a bit for Monday. It’s easy to get wrapped up in everything I struggle with on my ballroom journey and forget my accomplishments!
So I went through some videos and forced myself to find things I liked about my dancing!
Studio Team Match, August 2015:
Here is my bronze waltz routine. I like the smoothness of my dancing here and the extension of my arms in the beginning and in the open sections of the routine.
I also debuted my silver routines at the team match! Here is my foxtrot; I’m proud of myself for making it through the routine and looking like I knew what I was doing, even though I was having the worst time remembering the steps!
Emerald Ball, April 2015:
This video is of my bronze tango routine, and is also on my Videos page. It’s one of my favorites because you can see the judges in the foreground debating about my tattoo. They didn’t agree about whether the silhouette on the tree was of Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire! I think I did a decent job at conveying the intense tango character too.
And just to round out the set, here is my Viennese waltz from Emerald. Despite a split second misread on Teacher’s lead at one point, I feel like my dancing was very solid and I love how our arm styling matches almost perfectly. I even smiled!
Ever have one of those days where you just want to yell “I swear I’m better than this!” because the current evidence is indicating otherwise? Yeah, that was me during my last lesson.
I was such a good student. Arrived at the studio an hour before my scheduled lesson time. I did my stretches and I did a round of my bronze routines AND my silver routines, all on my own. The silver was a little questionable because I still don’t have all of the steps, angles, directions, etc. without Teacher leading me. But I got through them.
Then my lesson started. We were working on silver.
I’ve lucked out twice now with my studio holding a team match shortly before I’m to go to a big competition. Team matches are great to use as rehearsals for the “real thing” because you get the structure of a competition without the stress. Or in my case, with less stress (it never leaves me entirely). This one was especially important because it allowed me to try out my new silver routines!
Before the team match, I had never done a complete round of all four silver routines with Teacher, causing me just a little anxiety (ok, a LOT of anxiety). Adding to that stress was the uncomfortable feeling of being unprepared because I still didn’t know all of my silver choreography. I could follow Teacher, but I had no idea what we were doing. To me, it was like starring in a play and not knowing all of my lines. I would have Teacher essentially feeding me lines during the performance, but that meant I had to direct more thought power to what the next line was instead of how I was going to deliver it. It also almost feels like half-assing it, like I didn’t bother studying for a test because I was going to be able to take it with a partner. I’m just not that kind of student. Plus, as the article about introverts that I shared stated, I need to feel prepared.
I thought I had more time, but apparently the countdown to USDC, a.k.a. Nationals, has begun. Teacher comes to me at the beginning of our lesson on Wednesday and says “Ok! Two months to go! We need to schedule them! Double lesson on Friday! And then next week…!!” The man was pumped up! And he didn’t slow down once through the whole lesson as he whipped out brand new Viennese waltz and foxtrot silver routines, raced through showing me the steps while also coaching me on the arm styling and shaping, danced them once or twice with me, skipped across the studio to put music on to dance them to music, and then, with a big smile on his face, said “Perfect! How did that feel?”
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.
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.