I’ve always loved movies about underdogs. Those characters who come from difficult circumstances and have a dream that goes seemingly beyond their means. They don’t quite fit in, but their passion drives them forward anyway. They struggle, suffer defeats, come close to giving up, and ultimately rise to victory. I love a good underdog story because I can relate. I’ve always been a bit awkward, never quite fitting in but also not really wanting to.
While I was at Embassy Ball, I was interviewed by FloDance, a division of FloSports. It’s like an online sports channel, focused on dance and specifically ballroom. The site has really great content with a mix of articles and videos, including two articles I wrote for them (check them out here and here)! I’m excited about this site and hope it brings more awareness to this art/sport, as well as brings to light issues that are overlooked, like the one that inspired this post.
What an odd week.
Monday was just a Monday. Tuesday, I had a lesson with Teacher (make-up for missing Friday while he was at a comp). I also had my first session with a new practice partner (more on him later)! Wednesday, I had my usual standing lesson with Teacher (two lessons in two days, woohoo!). Thursday, I decided to start something new and exciting (for me at least) in an effort to expand the reach of the Dance Diaries series (more on that later too). Friday, I learned I would yet again have to give up my competition goals and would also likely be unable to pay for lessons for at least a month in the fall. And then I spent the rest of my work day lounging at the beach.
Like I said, odd.
I’ve been reading Patrice Tanaka’s Becoming Ginger Rogers. It’s a memoir and in it, Patrice shares her journey into ballroom dancing and how it changed her life. Sound familiar?
I never get tired of “life changed by ballroom” stories. Her story has so many familiar elements; it’s like reading a letter from a friend. While I was sitting in the shade by my apartment complex’s pool on Monday, she related the story of her first ballroom competition. I was, of course, instantly transported back to my own competition experiences and was struck very hard by a strong desire to be in that world again. Like right now.
After writing the Hermit Weekend post, I recalled a post I had written for the Uphill Factor about two years ago. Eventually, that site will transform or disappear entirely, so I’ve been spending some time revisiting old posts. The particular one I recalled yesterday was written because I had been involved in a debate about debt and pursuing things that make you happy.
The debate was how much money, more specifically how much debt, is acceptable in the pursuit of a passion? At what point do you stop being admirable for following your dreams against any and all odds and start being just foolish and irresponsible?
Two years later, my views haven’t changed much despite my constant questioning of myself and my need to take the occasional hermit weekend.
I swear, every time I start to feel secure in my plans, Life shouts “plot twist!” and I’m back to square one. But that’s what Life does, isn’t it?
A fellow ballroom student, thinking about getting back into competing after several years, asked me for a refresher on what expenses she needed to account for as she budgeted for a comeback. It’s great timing as the new year brings a whole new cycle of ballroom competitions to enter. So for any other pro-am ballroom dancers gearing up for a competitive 2016, here is a quick breakdown of what you’ll need to include in your budget. Note this list is based on my experience with NDCA competitions.
I know July is tomorrow, and not in a couple days, but don’t forget, this was first published on Patreon yesterday! Become a patron today and get to read these articles before anyone else!
In a couple days, we’ll be into another month and halfway through the year. Yikes! I never seem to get over how quickly time flies, while simultaneously some work weeks just drag like they’re rolling through molasses. Like with June, the arrival of July means rent is due, credit card bills are coming due, and I am still short on group class cash. Bummer. June was a “challenging” month as far as battles with demons go. It didn’t all have to do with group classes or lack there of, but not having that distraction didn’t help. Even though I still went to the studio a day or two a week for class or a private lesson, as the end of June got closer, I really started to miss dancing! It’s all for Florida and Ohio, I keep telling myself.
I’m in the second week of “can’t afford group classes or practice time” month and doing my best to stay busy so I don’t get hit with some major withdrawal symptoms. I’m usually at the studio three or four nights during the week for class and practice! So having only one night on the books kinda sucks. I’m anticipating July to be the same deal, not even sure I’ll manage the one class a week. We’ll cross that lousy bridge when we come to it. All for Florida and Ohio, that’s what I remind myself. So what does the Girl do when she can’t get her dance fix? I’ve come up with a list.