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

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Brain Knowledge Vs. Body Knowledge Or “Just” a Student

Once again, I started writing about one topic and ended up focusing on another. I didn’t want to get rid of the first one though, so this is a combo post. Just a heads up!

This week is smooth week! Teacher and I have been alternating between rhythm and smooth on our lessons. At first, we switched every lesson, but I quickly realized I needed at least a second lesson in the same style to follow up on what we worked on in the first lesson. So now, since I have two lessons a week typically, we alternate every week.

This week is smooth.

Continue reading

For Every High, There is a Low

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.

Continue reading

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!

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Trust and Ballroom (Write31Days Day 29)

Fun fact: yesterday was my 100th post on the Girl with the Tree Tattoo! I was so tired last night that I didn’t realize it until WordPress sent me a notification. The website has only been up for about 8 months. I’m feeling accomplished!

There are only a few days left of the writing challenge. I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed the daily writings, and if you’re new to the site, I hope you’ll stick around after this challenge ends. Don’t expect any new activity on November 1 though! Honestly, I’m ready for a break.

Today I wanted to talk about trust and its critical role in ballroom dancing.

Continue reading