The release of my interview with FloDance on Saturday got me thinking about my journey so far in ballroom and as the Girl with the Tree Tattoo. It’s incredible to look back and see how much I’ve changed. A couple years ago, I would have been privately excited and proud of an interview like this, but outwardly I would have hid that excitement and felt embarrassed and almost guilty for “bragging” by sharing the video. Bragging in my head is a bad thing, something to be ashamed of, and calling attention to myself feels like a form of bragging. I still get squirmy about having attention on me, but the cool thing that’s happened is I’m realizing that it’s not really about me. It’s about the message I’m trying to convey to the world.
Once upon a time, there was a girl who wasn’t great at much. At least, that’s what she thought. She was decent at some things and pretty good at others. Above average at best. But never quite enough to stand out, reach the top, or be remembered. Then came ballroom.
Dancing brought the girl to life! She started competing and began taking home first and second places right away. People praised her for her beautiful dancing. Her fragile ego swelled and she felt pride. She worked hard to improve her dancing and continued to win. Then after being away from the competition circuit for over a year, the girl returned. Even though she had continued to work hard and improve her dancing, she could not maintain those high results. Each competition put her lower in the rankings. Her ego began to feel exposed and vulnerable. And confused. She was dancing better than ever and felt amazing while doing it! How could she be placing lower than before?
It is at this point in the story that we join the girl, as she and her ego sort out the new reality.
Several different ideas are wanting attention right now and I couldn’t decide which to focus on, so this post will likely wander down multiple paths. Ready to go?
I’ve been itching for a new blog post topic, but my dancing has been limited lately. It’s hard to write about dancing when you’re not doing much of it! For awhile, I was dancing four days a week between private lessons with Teacher and Teacher’s friend and Teacher’s group class. So spoiled! But right now it’s just my private lessons twice a week with Teacher. Rhythm is progressing painfully slowly (at least to me), but there are “clicks” here and there. Teacher even did a little celebratory jig over my rumba during our last lesson. And we finally went through the swing routine. Only two dances to go!
This post was inspired by something other than my reduced dancing schedule though. I saw this article on Facebook about ballroom not being thought of as an expressive dance and it reminded me of something that occasionally bugs me, like a little burr in the back of my brain.
How perfect to read an article about changing your mindset at the start of the new year!
I think I’m going through a little ballroom withdrawal. It’s been weeks and weeks since I took a group class. My last few private lessons were a week apart due to Teacher going to comps or having other scheduling conflicts. And I haven’t been going to the studio to practice. I have all sorts of excuses, including the fact that I’m still doing things at home like the journey to splits challenge. I used to practice before and/or after group class. It worked well for me. But now that I’m not taking group, I find it’s hard to motivate myself to go to just practice on my own. This is why I fail at being a gym member. I’m much more likely to go if there is a class or something where I have other people to support me and hold me accountable. But going by myself to work by myself? I feel like I may as well save the gas and stay at home. This withdrawal coupled with anxiety over USDC and reading online how often others practice or have private lessons has me once again pondering a question my demons obsessively taunt me with: at what point can I call myself a dancer?