So what’s next for my dance journey?
That was the question of the week as I returned to the studio for my first lesson since the virtual showcase.Continue reading
One of my favorite things about this blog continues to be the connections that I make with dancers and other creatives that would have never happened otherwise. Today’s interview is a result of one of those connections. Rebecca Gentry, professional ballroom dancer and owner of City Ballroom Dance Studio in Lancaster, PA, found The Girl with the Tree Tattoo on Instagram and reached out. We had a wonderful conversation a couple weeks ago and I’m happy to be able to share it with you today.
Please welcome to the blog, Rebecca Gentry!Continue reading
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.
Happy Friday all! It’s still light outside, but after I finish this post, I’m getting ready for bed. I’m waking up at 3am tomorrow to get ready for the Royal Ball! That probably sounds crazy to you, but originally, I was planning on a 2am wakeup call.
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.
Once upon a time, there was a girl who wasn’t great at much. At least, that’s what she thought. She was decent at some things and pretty good at others. Above average at best. But never quite enough to stand out, reach the top, or be remembered. Then came ballroom.
Dancing brought the girl to life! She started competing and began taking home first and second places right away. People praised her for her beautiful dancing. Her fragile ego swelled and she felt pride. She worked hard to improve her dancing and continued to win. Then after being away from the competition circuit for over a year, the girl returned. Even though she had continued to work hard and improve her dancing, she could not maintain those high results. Each competition put her lower in the rankings. Her ego began to feel exposed and vulnerable. And confused. She was dancing better than ever and felt amazing while doing it! How could she be placing lower than before?
It is at this point in the story that we join the girl, as she and her ego sort out the new reality.
About six months ago, I wrote a post about how the crappy days are more important. It was inspired by this quote of Georges St-Pierre:
“You don’t get better on the days when you feel like going. You get better on the days when you don’t want to go, but go anyway. If you can overcome the negative energy coming from your tired body or unmotivated mind, you will grow and become better. It won’t be the best workout you have, you won’t accomplish as much as what you usually do when you actually feel good, but that doesn’t matter. Growth is a long term game, and the crappy days are more important.” Georges St-Pierre, The Way of the Fight
I haven’t had a chance to get his book Way of the Fight yet, but it’s definitely on my list. I was thinking about this quote a lot in the last couple days because they’ve been pretty crappy.
It breaks my heart, but she speaks the truth. For some, pro/am is like a tease and after so long, you’d rather the real thing or nothing.
Less than three weeks until my first competition in over a year! This past week’s lessons brought me through the whole spectrum of emotions related to that fact. First, there was Wednesday.
After about a week and a half out of the studio, I had a lesson with Teacher on Wednesday followed by almost an hour-long practice with a new practice partner. I think I pushed myself a little too far because I was exhausted and started getting a serious headache on the way home. There’s no time to slow down though; Ballroom Beach Bash is in four weeks!