On January 22, 2018, I emailed the 108 people on the Solo Practice Guide mailing list about a special offer. I was ready to complete the Solo Practice Guide for Ballroom Dancing, but before I released it to the world, I wanted to test it. So I created a beta group and opened it to 10 people to help me review the Guide chapter by chapter. The result was awesomeness, and I’m so grateful to those 10 people for helping me make this dream a reality. Now that we’re reaching the one-year anniversary of that fateful day, I want to celebrate!
Dancing is literally defined as moving rhythmically to music. Many of our lessons and practice time in ballroom, however, happen without music. Even when we do get to dance to music in our training, it’s not going to be the same music that we’ll dance to at competition. It seems to be a challenge unique to ballroom. I remember explaining this to people who had experience with the more mainstream dance competitions, where dancers compete with routines choreographed to specific songs, and being looked at like I was crazy.
You don’t know what music you’ll be dancing to??
Nope. And if you enter a Jack and Jill event, you won’t even know who your partner is going to be!
How do you prepare for that??
Do you ever feel like you’re going nowhere fast? Like you’re stuck in a hamster wheel or walking the wrong way on one of those moving walkways in the airport?
That’s how I feel on the tougher days. Those days when I feel like it doesn’t matter how hard I work, I just can’t seem to make any progress. My to-do pile at the day job is growing faster than my done pile. I practiced over and over, but I still can’t seem to get that move right in my dance lesson. I’m doing “all the things” to grow my business, but the return still feels small.
The question of how to balance different aspects of life, such as building a business while working a full-time day job or training and competing as a dancer on the side of a non-dance career, has come up in multiple circles this past week. So I thought I’d throw in my two cents.
Multiple articles, written by myself and guests, have been published on this blog about finding a balance between these things. Now that I’m older and wiser, I think we were all wrong.
The Guide started as a personal quest. Embassy Ball 2017 dealt a huge blow to my ego, and after I sulked for a bit, I was determined to take more control and ownership of my dancing so I wouldn’t have to face that disappointment again with the knowledge I could have done more to avoid it. I couldn’t afford more than the two lessons per week I already took. The only other area I could control was my solo practice, so that’s where I focused.
It’s not easy to admit when you’re wrong, and even harder to admit when you were wrong about completely sucking as a dancer. It’s weird because it’s like you’re humbling and boosting yourself at the same time. “Ok ok, I was wrong. I am a good dancer.”
And those were the words that came. I think I was only staring for about 15 minutes.
My creative juices are running dry a bit this weekend, but I still wanted to check in with you. We’re coming up on the end of January, and it’s hard to believe how much has been put into motion in just four weeks.
I can’t believe it’s December already! I feel like I’ve said this before, but every year seems to go by faster and faster. Part of it is probably due to the fact that I’m getting busier. If you caught my Facebook livestream, you know that November was especially busy (not my choice). Thankfully, for this first weekend of December, I am not working overtime. I get to dance instead!
Howdy dancers! I hope the week is treating you well. My week certainly is. I took the day off today after getting home yesterday from a weekend workshop in Scottsdale, Arizona. No, it wasn’t a dance workshop (I know, what else could it be??).