My relationship with solo dance practice was born out of necessity. I needed a way to improve as a dancer that didn’t come with a financial cost. The Solo Practice Guide for Ballroom Dancing was born out of my need to improve as a dancer without a financial cost and with a limited time requirement. The framework I developed for my solo practice sessions worked wonders. I grew in strength, balance and confidence. Lessons with Teacher were more productive. Other coaches noticed the improvements in my dancing when I competed. I became a World Champion!Continue reading
We plan, God laughs.Yiddish proverb
It’s March already, and while I’m not surprised that there is still a foot of snow on the ground, I am surprised and disappointed that I’m not back to taking ballroom lessons. I shouldn’t be surprised because I was there at every turn that delayed my return to ballroom. Always a good reason! But silly me still didn’t want to let go of her original plans.
If any four words were to sum up Life, it would be these four: We plan, God laughs.
You can interpret it in different ways, but I see it as a reminder that we cannot control the world around us. The Earth keeps rotating and Life keeps going, whether we like it or not. We try every day to control or at least predict, what the future will bring, but the best we manage is an illusion.Continue reading
It’s officially Autumn here in Maine! Those warm Summer days are long gone, evidenced by the 63-degree temperature inside the house (I’m not turning on the heat until I can vacuum out at least the ends of the ducts). The trees are also changing, which is beautiful. Batches of trees turned this brilliant red early on along the main route that I drive for groceries, PT, etc. You have this large swath of summer-y green and then bam! a batch of red in the middle. So gorgeous. I understand why tourists flock to this area at this time of year.Continue reading
Embassy Ball, home of the World Championships under the NDCA and WDC, took place in Orange County, CA this past week. Seeing so many social media posts with photos and videos from the event had me waxing nostalgic over my own Embassy memories. I’ve competed at Embassy Ball three times – 2017, 2018 and 2019. Embassy Ball has been a place of highs and lows for me, each triggering a significant turning point in my dance journey.
I thought we’d take a trip down memory lane, if you’ll indulge me!Continue reading
They say time moves more slowly in the country, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do. Caring for this house alone could be a full-time gig. There are about 50 acres of forest waiting to be explored and that’s without leaving our property. Inspiration for art, whether it’s dance, photography, painting, etc., is abundant in these natural surroundings. Country living is anything but boring.
The difference I notice as I sit at the kitchen table and listen to the wind in the trees through the open window isn’t that I’ve slowed down since moving here. The difference is that Life around me moves at a less-rushed pace. The manic mood of the city is absent here. The bumblebees and hummingbirds show up every day in the overgrown garden next to the kitchen to collect their pollen and nectar. They aren’t lazy about it; they are consistent and persistent. What they aren’t is frantic. Their work is steady, not hectic. Amazing how they still complete their tasks without buzzing around like their boss is going to set their hair on fire if they don’t appear entirely stressed out.Continue reading
Would you believe I had dance four days this past week? Two private lessons, a studio party (!), and a group class this morning. I could have taken advantage of a group class discount on Friday as well, but I needed a night at home. It was the closest I’ve come to my pre-pandemic life in over a year.Continue reading
Before I jump into today’s topic, I want to say Happy New Year, dancers! I hope your New Year’s celebrations were fun and safe.
My first lesson after the first pandemic lockdown started with a solo dance. I hadn’t danced in a studio for 3.5 months and the first thing Teacher and I did was dance Open Waltz apart. I was actually pleasantly surprised to see how much of the routine I remembered.
For the last couple years, Teacher has made me dance a solo dance or even an entire solo round at the beginning of almost every lesson, especially when we were getting close to a competition. I hated it. I got so embarrassed when I would lose my balance or forget my steps. It fed into my self-doubt and anxiety around my abilities as a dancer. But over time, it was also incredibly effective at improving my dancing.Continue reading
Happy post-Thanksgiving, dancers! Are your refrigerators as full of leftover turkey as mine?
Before I jump into today’s blog, I want to invite you to check out the sales happening at Practice Ballroom Dance! All book/journal bundles are discounted, so grab one for yourself and a friend to start the 2021 chapter of your dance journey off right. This year has straight up sucked, but we dancers know how to make our falls a part of our dance.
Now onto today’s story…Continue reading
I solo practiced at the studio yesterday! First time in 7 months. With talk of competing again in early 2021, 2021 being only three months away, AND only one lesson a week on the books for the foreseeable future, I thought it was time to get back into the solo practice habit.Continue reading
Week 7 of staying home has passed, and we’ve entered a new month. Some areas of the country have given up the quarantine life and made attempts to resume some sort of “normal.” The state I live in maintains its stay-at-home order with no specific expiration date. A ballroom competition just a couple states over announced it will proceed as planned in June. At the same time, a week-long dance camp scheduled for the same month in a neighboring state announced it was cancelling its in-person events and pivoting to an online platform.
Our current reality is full of discontinuity. For every argument, there is another to counter it and a third to counter both. It can be difficult to know who or what to believe or trust. Not to mention there is still a virus spreading and mutating around the world with widely varying effects and side effects.
What’s a ballroom dancer to do?Continue reading