Countdown to Embassy: 2 Days – Mind Games

The day’s almost here! I compete at Embassy Ball and the World Championships on Thursday! While Thursday is my only performance day, some of Teacher’s other students will be competing at both Embassy AND USDC, a.k.a. Nationals, next week. Stress levels were getting a little high, and so Teacher and his pro partner arranged a pre-comp gift for all of us. They invited sports psychology consultant Mario Soto to come to the studio and do a group session.

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Interview: Elizabeth Thomson and Nicholas Barkley, From Boots to Bling

In my continued effort to bring you stories from other ballroom dancers besides me, I’m happy to introduce you to an American Smooth amateur couple, Elizabeth Thomson and Nicholas Barkley. They have backgrounds that you would not expect to find in ballroom and share an important message. This month, we get to learn how they got started in ballroom and formed their new partnership.

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Spoiled

I was straight-up spoiled this past week! I danced four nights and saw the Dancing with the Stars Live show on the fifth night. And that was after a whole day of ballroom training at the Smooth Camp last Saturday. Yes indeed, I was spoiled.

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A Sunday Morning Waltz

It’s been two and a half weeks since my last dance lesson, which was also the last time I danced ballroom at all. Being busy with other things, like driving across country, Thanksgiving, blog- and book-related work, and the day job (yes, still working the day job!), has helped keep the withdrawal symptoms tolerable. The Zumba game has helped too; I think it’s going to be my ticket to avoiding too much holiday weight gain in the next month. But finally, this morning, I broke out my ballroom practice shoes.

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The Orange Starburst

In the last couple weeks, I’ve attempted to alleviate my hunger for ballroom with social dancing. Two weeks ago, Roomie and I attended a Halloween social dance at a local studio. I went to the monthly swing dance, complete with a live band, at another studio this past Saturday. And last night, I went to another social dance after my hip hop class, since the two were at the same place. Last night in particular inspired this post because of some interesting comments people made and because of how I’m feeling post-dancing.

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Stuck in a Bog of Uncertainty

A few days ago, Dance Advantage posted an article titled 7 Things To Remember In Phases Of Uncertainty In Your Dance Life. The seven things are nothing earth-shattering, but they are excellent reminders. I think I’ve written about all of them myself in past posts. Which got me thinking…

What do you do when you know all these things and you do your best to practice them, but you’re still struggling?  Sure, you know “this too shall past,” but does that really help you in the here and now?

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Ask the Girl Episode 10: Love And Ballroom

After reading my articles on the pro-am relationship, one of my readers asked if I would write about how the relationship between a student and their ballroom instructor might affect relationships outside of the ballroom. He noted that a lot of the students at his studio came to ballroom after a romantic relationship had ended. Ballroom has helped heal a lot of emotional wounds for them.

It makes sense; a ballroom studio and a good teacher provide a safe arena in which someone can start to trust and connect with another person again.

So what happens when you start looking for a new romantic partner? How does your connection with a dance partner affect your connection with potential life partners? How do your expectations change? How does your approach change?

I took extra time to think about this topic because there are so many different layers to explore. The more I pondered, the more there was to ponder. I reached out to other ballroom dancers to get their insight. And still I am having trouble coming up with a clear outline or angle. So I said screw it, just start writing and see where it goes!

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Ask the Girl Episode 4 – Finding the Right Partner

It’s Tuesday again and I’ve got another Ask the Girl post for you!

I don’t know about you, but I had a rough Monday. If there is such a thing as a case of the Mondays, I had it bad! But I survived to write again.

Today’s question came from one of my Instagram followers! She just started dancing and competing in pro-am ballroom with a pro who also happens to be a good friend. Their connection outside of dance makes their connection and performance on the dance floor really strong, but she has also found that it sometimes causes extra heartache and disappointment. She wanted to know how I found my dance partner and how I knew he was the one to stick with.

Is there any pro-am dancer out there who hasn’t experienced the odd mix of joy and pain that is ballroom dancing? I doubt it.

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