Dancing My Beautiful Truth (With a Dress to Match)

Happy Memorial Day weekend! Honestly, when I kept hearing commercials about Memorial Day sales this past week, I thought it was odd they were advertising so early. Then I realized this was the holiday weekend, not a week or two from now. Better to realize it now instead of logging into work on Monday and wondering why no one else is online!

I kicked off the weekend by hosting the Dance Your Truth workshop with RiTika Rose, which was eye-opening.

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A Mind for Dancing

Clarity of mind leads to clarity of dancing.

The Girl with the Tree Tattoo

Mindset has been on my mind lately. I find it fascinating how our perception and attitude can have a profound effect on our behavior and experiences. If you walk into the studio with the mindset that you’re going to have a great time working through challenges with your teacher versus walking in with the mindset that it’s just going to be another lesson full of mistakes, you’re going to wind up with two very different experiences. Even if you make the same number of mistakes.

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Giving Your Best Performance (in Your Living Room)

Week 6 is in the books! It seemed to be a tough one for people, judging by the protests in different areas of the country and a few states deciding to allow businesses to reopen, despite warnings that it’s too soon to be relaxing our guard.

As for me, I’m proud to say I was more on point with my fitness intentions this week! I worked out three days, including a Zumba class. I also got two grocery deliveries and jumped on the quarantine baking bandwagon with homemade apple crisp. I had actual work to do for the day job, so overall it was a pretty productive week.

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Stoking the Dance Fire

Hi dancers! How’s Day 6549723 in quarantine going for you? It’s starting to feel like a real-life version of Groundhog Day here, without the public gatherings of course. I’m coming to you a day early because the day job asked me to take some vacation days while I barely have any work to do (insert slightly worried emoji here).

Week after week of staying home is creating a new challenge for me in writing. I usually take inspiration from my experiences, and after five weeks of basically the same experience, it’s kinda hard to come up with something new to write about!

Week 5 did bring a couple new developments that I’ll share. I also want to remind you that the next workshop in The Girl with the Tree Tattoo series is only a week away, so be sure to register soon! These workshops are just one way I’m stoking the inner dance fire (keep reading, I’ll explain).

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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