I know it’s been too many days since I last wrote something when my fingers are itching to type on the keyboard even though I don’t have a clear idea of what I want to write. So I’m just going to freestyle for a bit before I have to leave for work. I also know it’s been too many days since I danced when I start having lessons in my dreams. Last night I worked on rhythm.
Sunday Update: Kris and Briana won the popular vote! Thank you to everyone who voted for them!
I’ve been reading Patrice Tanaka’s Becoming Ginger Rogers. It’s a memoir and in it, Patrice shares her journey into ballroom dancing and how it changed her life. Sound familiar?
I never get tired of “life changed by ballroom” stories. Her story has so many familiar elements; it’s like reading a letter from a friend. While I was sitting in the shade by my apartment complex’s pool on Monday, she related the story of her first ballroom competition. I was, of course, instantly transported back to my own competition experiences and was struck very hard by a strong desire to be in that world again. Like right now.
This past week, I had my two regular lessons, one working on rhythm and the other working on smooth. During the rhythm lesson, we danced the cha cha routine to music and I NAILED that stupid spin TWICE! Then we worked on rumba and I “upgraded” my hip movement, according to Teacher. During the smooth lesson, we revisited tango. Teacher wanted me to focus on keeping my right arm forward (I tended to let it pull back, especially when the movement required me to put my left side forward). We worked on these tiny adjustments I could make to be able to take my left side forward without affecting the right.
You know how your teacher will tell you to do something and keep telling you you’re not doing it and then all of a sudden, after making the tiniest adjustment that you may or may not be aware that you made, they exclaim “yes, that’s it!”? Usually, in that situation, I have no idea what adjustment I made. But during this week’s smooth lesson, I actually started to feel it. I consciously made a tiny correction while we were dancing and Teacher felt it and confirmed it was correct!
Sounds like an awesome week, right? Well, it was!
So what’s the catch? There must be something, it can’t all be good.
During lunch yesterday, I was going through videos and pictures stored on my phone, deleting stuff I didn’t want or need to free up space. I came across a video of Teacher and me dancing a round of bronze smooth, and I realized that it was recorded just a couple weeks before we were supposed to leave for the United States Dance Championships, a.k.a. Nationals. A couple weeks before Teacher broke his wrist.
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.
Today’s the day! First chance to try out my silver skills!
I’m actually feeling pretty good, no major butterflies (yet).
Go to my Facebook page for live updates throughout the day!
All it took was some luck, hard work and financial wizardry, and I’m back on the competition dancefloor in three weeks! California Open, here I come.
Cue the anxiety attacks! (She said only half jokingly.)