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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You Keep Falling Because You Don’t Believe You Can Fly

Way back in 2015, when The Girl with the Tree Tattoo blog was still in the Newcomer division, I wrote an article for another dance website about partnering. I listed trust as one of three key factors for a successful dance partnership. Trust is a funny thing. It is like a house of cards, built up slowly over time, but one wrong move can make the entire structure collapse. It’s very fragile, and at the same time, holds very strong influence over us. We are willing to give so much of ourselves to those we trust without question.

In ballroom dancing, you have to trust your partner. You have to trust in their ability to dance and lead or follow (depending on your role). On a more emotional level, you have to trust them to respect you as you allow them into your personal space. The physical contact required for ballroom dancing (another key factor) can make you feel extremely vulnerable. It takes trust to ease that feeling and make you feel comfortable enough to dance well.

Ballroom dancing also requires trust in yourself.

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Twas the Night After Christmas

And all through the house, not a creature was stirring…

Except for me. I’m not quite ready to sleep. But I think it’s ok, since Santa has already come and gone. I hope all of my readers who celebrate Christmas had a wonderful holiday!

I’m just going to openly ponder some things while I wait for my eyelids to get heavy.

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“Trust” – That Ever-Elusive Dance Partner

A quick post.

I came across this video on Facebook, posted by Steezy:

I love Mitch Villareal’s very precise, yet smooth movements. Every one is executed with purpose and confidence.

Oh, if only I could dance like that!

The ironic thing is the title of the video is the reason I can’t: trust.

“Trust” is going to be my key word for 2016. I know I have issues trusting others, but the harder thing to admit is how much trouble I have trusting myself.

Teacher brings it up again and again. I whine or fret that I just can’t get something right, and he comes back with “it’s because you’re not trusting yourself!”

Point taken, I’ll work on that. Trust me.

Ask the Girl Episode 4 – Finding the Right Partner

It’s Tuesday again and I’ve got another Ask the Girl post for you!

I don’t know about you, but I had a rough Monday. If there is such a thing as a case of the Mondays, I had it bad! But I survived to write again.

Today’s question came from one of my Instagram followers! She just started dancing and competing in pro-am ballroom with a pro who also happens to be a good friend. Their connection outside of dance makes their connection and performance on the dance floor really strong, but she has also found that it sometimes causes extra heartache and disappointment. She wanted to know how I found my dance partner and how I knew he was the one to stick with.

Is there any pro-am dancer out there who hasn’t experienced the odd mix of joy and pain that is ballroom dancing? I doubt it.

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Trust and Ballroom Part 2: Trusting Yourself (Write31Days Day 30)

After getting a bit of a mental smackdown courtesy of my demons last night, I considered letting them write today’s post. But I’m going to pull myself together and focus on the productive and the positive.

We all fall apart sometimes

Another lesson and another repeated mantra from Teacher yesterday led to this extension of yesterday’s post on Trust and Ballroom.

You have to trust your partner in order to dance ballroom. But you also have to trust yourself.

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Trust and Ballroom (Write31Days Day 29)

Fun fact: yesterday was my 100th post on the Girl with the Tree Tattoo! I was so tired last night that I didn’t realize it until WordPress sent me a notification. The website has only been up for about 8 months. I’m feeling accomplished!

There are only a few days left of the writing challenge. I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed the daily writings, and if you’re new to the site, I hope you’ll stick around after this challenge ends. Don’t expect any new activity on November 1 though! Honestly, I’m ready for a break.

Today I wanted to talk about trust and its critical role in ballroom dancing.

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Mental Smackdown – When Your Dealer Cancels Your Next Fix

On today’s episode of Mental Smackdown, I share what happens when an external trigger sets the demons loose in my head and how I attempt to bring order back to the chaos that’s created.

I was having a really good night, feeling genuinely optimistic about life in general.  And then my lesson was cancelled. Cue descent into darkness.

I know, I know, so dramatic! It’s just one lesson. Disappointment, sure, but descent into darkness? Really? Financially, it helps me because it stretches my last lesson payment that much further. So what’s my problem? Well, like any good addict, sometimes the only thing that gets me through the day is my next fix. I think it’s been well established that I am addicted to ballroom and my heart and soul gets poured into it. Good or bad, I desperately rely on my two standing lessons to get me through some weeks. I may be hating life, but at least I have a lesson to look forward to. So when that oasis I’m crawling toward turns out to be a mirage? Let’s just say the struggle is real. Still too dramatic? Just wait, it gets better.

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