I Never Would Have Moved to Maine Without Ballroom

Hello from a dripping wet, soggy Maine! The rain arrived Friday night and has kept us drenched since then. Good thing I got the lawns mowed earlier this week. #ThingsISayNow

The rain has made for a cozy, relaxing weekend, except when the dogs need to go out. Even then, it’s not too bad. They don’t care about getting wet and I have bright blue rain boots and a solid rain jacket, so who cares? I took it a step further yesterday afternoon while the power was out briefly and decided to have some fun (see below).

A fellow ballroom dancer shared with me that she’s appreciating how all of the intangible skills that have come out of her dance training, like increased self-confidence, ability to work through challenging dance moves, learning to win and lose gracefully at competitions, have translated well into “real” life. She saw the additional value gained out of all of those expensive private lessons. I responded that I agreed completely! Without those “side effects” of learning to ballroom dance, I never would have moved to Maine.

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Learning to Trust My Power

Can you relate to this?

You’re working on a piece of choreography with your teacher. They tell you you’re doing fine but you’re holding back, you need to let go of your doubts and just go for it. Finally, you do! Your teacher is thrilled, and you’re happy and surprised. And then you freak out internally because this expression of power and confidence in yourself caught you off guard. Like a rubber band being stretched long and then snapping back to its original size, you have this urge to retreat back to a safer, smaller space where you feel less vulnerable.

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The Crappy Days Are More Important

I had an idea for my next post, another one about climbing out of the comparison trap. I wanted to come up with a list of real things that I or anyone else could do that would help stop the comparisons and get back to a more positive mindset. The exercise in gratitude was ok, but I wanted something more practical and more concrete. When I am having trouble with a ballroom step, Teacher can give me very specific things to do to correct the issue. I’ve been stuck in this self-pity state for longer than I’d like to admit. I have plenty of excuses and some good, honest reasons, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’m only hurting myself. I actually googled “how to stop comparing” to see what others have written about the subject.

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Countdown to CalOpen – 19 Days: Reflections

Our story begins with a podcast that has nothing to do with ballroom dancing. But since it is the thing that put me on the path to writing this post, I am starting there. Lewis Howes was interviewing Lisa Nichols. You may have heard of them if you’ve gotten into personal development, life coaching or entrepreneurship. They’re both very successful and worth checking out if you’re interested in those things.

Anyway, I was listening to the podcast at work, and at one point, Ms. Nichols was talking about the different types of relationships you will experience in your lifetime. One of them was a purposeful relationship. Someone comes into your life for a specific purpose (whether you’re aware of it or not), and once the purpose is fulfilled, the relationship will become stagnant or break down completely.

There are plenty of directions you could go with this idea, but my mind was transported to my very first competition: the 2014 San Francisco Open.

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Ask the Girl Episode 5 – Why Do I Do This to Myself?

Today’s Ask the Girl episode was inspired by a conversation I had with the creator of freeballroomlessons.com.  He specializes in teaching social-level ballroom dancing, but used to dance competitively. We were talking about how expensive ballroom competitions are, especially for a pro-am student like myself, and about the emotional rollercoasters that competing in ballroom puts me on.

He wondered, with all of the financial and emotional stress involved in competition, why do I do it?

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Ask the Girl Episode 2 – When is Enough, Enough?

Welcome to the second episode of Ask the Girl!

If you have a question or topic that you would like me to address, leave it in the comments or contact me directly. I’m excited to hear from you!

When is Enough, Enough

Today’s question comes from Kelly, founder of Lady Boss Lifestyle:

When do you know that enough is enough?  Is it totally ok to simply dance without a longterm goal of competing? Or do these types of dancers typically just need a great coach to build up their belief that they can trust their passion and set competition goals?

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The Evolution of a Dancer

Every once in awhile, I like to reflect on where I am versus where I was. I have changed and grown so much in the past few years, and I think it is important to pause and acknowledge that growth. It’s a good thing to practice, especially when you feel like you’re stuck in your current situation. Think of this as a more in-depth follow-up to When Taking Ballroom, Side Effects May Include…

So how has the Girl evolved?

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