Remember Why You Dance

Haters gonna hate, but I’m too busy dancing to notice.

The Girl with the Tree Tattoo

I met up with a dance friend last week and our conversation inspired me to share an important message on social media and now with you here on this blog.

The ballroom world, like any other sport, has its dark side. There are the stories of studios or teachers pressuring or manipulating students into buying more lessons than they need or signing up for events they’re not ready for. You don’t need to spend much time in the competitive world before you start hearing stories of certain dancers being favored over others because of who they dance with, who their coaches are, or how much money they spend at competitions.

Then there is the gossip, petty remarks and judge-y comments about people’s partnerships, costumes, dancing abilities, whether or not they’re getting special treatment from whomever and why, etc., etc.

It’s so easy to get sucked into the dark side of ballroom and get caught up in the gossip and pettiness. But to be frank, I ain’t got the time or the energy for that nonsense, and I don’t want you to waste your time or energy either.

Continue reading

Countdown to Embassy Ball 2019: 25 Days – Pulling the Pieces Together

I’d like to start this piece by sharing that I practiced for about two hours this morning and the ache in my knees only got up to a 1, maybe a light 2 on the pain scale, which is awesome!

I can officially say I’m competing at the end of this month. Entries have been submitted, makeup has been booked, and I’m pulling together some final accessories for my dress. Pieces are coming together. It’s happening!

Continue reading

Lingering Doubts

I was at a dance lesson a little over a week ago, and Teacher was talking about some of the more intricate details of our open Waltz routine. These were the details that add another layer of quality and performance to the dance.

It had nothing to do with making steps fancier or more complicated. It was about activating the body in the right way at the right time to demonstrate control and awareness. Adding an extra little tick here or extending a stretch a second longer there would also demonstrate musicality and my ability to “play” within the confines of the choreography.

As he talked about one section, I thought of other sections where I knew I could go further, push deeper, or do more to create something that would make the audience go “wow.” This kind of talk excites me. It’s a deep dive into the art of the dance and gives me more opportunity to work my creative muscles.

At the same time though, as I pictured myself adding those intricate layers to my dancing, I felt a twang, like anxiety plucked one of my heartstrings.

Continue reading

Setting Competition Goals

A new year brings a new ballroom competition season with it. “Season” is a bit of a misnomer because there is always a competition happening somewhere, but in my corner of the ballroom world, people seem to take some time off after the Holiday Dance Classic at the beginning of December and then come back with new goals in January.

Continue reading

Dancing on Christmas Eve

It may be the day before Christmas, but it’s also Sunday. As you know, Sunday is my main practice day, so even though it would have been easy to skip, I still went to the studio to practice. I didn’t want to skip anyway. Friday was my last dance lesson of 2017 (unless Teacher decides he wants to teach next week) and I didn’t want to stop dancing! Apparently I wasn’t the only one. There was a LOT of people at the studio! More than I’ve ever seen on a Sunday morning. I’m guessing we all had the same thought, that we’d have the studio to ourselves!

Continue reading

Checking In and a Holiday Sale

Everyone survive the Thanksgiving holiday? I ate plenty, but not too much. There was more food coming at a birthday party on Friday, so I tried to pace myself. Now, on Saturday, I don’t feel like I’m still full so I must have succeeded.

I love 4-day weekends (who doesn’t?)! I’ve been off from the day job for two days already, and it’s only Saturday! Of course, I still have to do some overtime work for the office, but at least I get to do it from home. And I get to write to you guys too!

Continue reading

Mental Block

You know that feeling when you think you’ve got something? You understand a concept more or less. But for some reason, the puzzle pieces aren’t completely fitting together. You can see the picture, but it’s not 100% clear. You can’t put your finger on it, but there’s a disconnect somewhere.

Continue reading