A Review of CalOpen – Realigning with “Reality”

It’s been six days since I danced at the California Open. The days following a competition can be challenging. What goes up must come down, as they say! The big emotions of an event like a ballroom competition (excitement, anxiety, joy, etc.) take a lot of energy, so I can feel drained and even depressed after the external stimuli are gone and the big emotions fade. I call it post-comp blues. I’ve dealt with this emotional rollercoaster after every competition, as well as some lesser events. Sometimes the ride is full of insane ups and downs; other times it is just a little bumpy.

So what about this time? I’ll call it a bumpy road.

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Countdown to USDC – 12 Days: Well, That Could Have Gone Better

Ever have one of those days where you just want to yell “I swear I’m better than this!” because the current evidence is indicating otherwise? Yeah, that was me during my last lesson.

I was such a good student. Arrived at the studio an hour before my scheduled lesson time. I did my stretches and I did a round of my bronze routines AND my silver routines, all on my own. The silver was a little questionable because I still don’t have all of the steps, angles, directions, etc. without Teacher leading me. But I got through them.

Then my lesson started. We were working on silver.

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Countdown to USDC – 21 Days: Team Match and a Silver Debut

I’ve lucked out twice now with my studio holding a team match shortly before I’m to go to a big competition. Team matches are great to use as rehearsals for the “real thing” because you get the structure of a competition without the stress. Or in my case, with less stress (it never leaves me entirely). This one was especially important because it allowed me to try out my new silver routines!

Before the team match, I had never done a complete round of all four silver routines with Teacher, causing me just a little anxiety (ok, a LOT of anxiety). Adding to that stress was the uncomfortable feeling of being unprepared because I still didn’t know all of my silver choreography. I could follow Teacher, but I had no idea what we were doing. To me, it was like starring in a play and not knowing all of my lines. I would have Teacher essentially feeding me lines during the performance, but that meant I had to direct more thought power to what the next line was instead of how I was going to deliver it. It also almost feels like half-assing it, like I didn’t bother studying for a test because I was going to be able to take it with a partner. I’m just not that kind of student. Plus, as the article about introverts that I shared stated, I need to feel prepared.

So how did the team match go?

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Practice, Practice, Practice!

I mailed my entry forms for USDC!  Hotel is reserved, flights are booked.  No turning back now!

I'm mailing a check for how much??  I can't watch.

I’m mailing a check for how much?? I can’t watch.

With just under 5 weeks to go, I’m carefully managing my mindset so it doesn’t turn all dark and negative and anxiety-ridden.  I know myself, so I know I’ll freak out at some point.  But it’s ok. USDC will be my first competition at which I dance silver.  Might sound a little crazy, entering the silver level for the first time at Nationals.  But Teacher believes I can do it, and I am getting a test run at a team match in two weeks.  I’m doing my best to ignore the fact that I still don’t know all of the steps in my silver routines.  Trying to stay positive, I focus on the fact that I am making progress at every lesson. And I can follow the steps when I dance with Teacher. And there are still 5 weeks to go.  Or is it only 5 weeks??

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