There are many times when I feel this blog is a bit self-indulgent. This becomes more true when faced with people who have real problems. After all, in the grand scheme of things, does it really matter that I don’t feel ready for my waltz routine in May. Trust me, I know that if worrying about ballroom dancing routines is the biggest problem I’ve got right now, then I’ve got it real good compared to a lot of other people. So is this really the best way to spend my time? Don’t know for sure but we can only deal with what we can deal with. I’ve been learning the hard way that there are certain things that you can’t fix by yourself no matter how much you want to. And this does serve as an outlet for me to express opinions and thoughts that I don’t want to reveal to people I have to interact with on a daily basis. That helps me and I guess in the end that’s what matters.
I did have a revelation last night which makes me less worried about showcase. I am the leader and it means that if I don’t want to do these open routines, she can’t make me do them (I get that sounds very much like a 4th grader, but so be it). If I wanted to just go out and do box steps in each heat, there is absolutely nothing she could do to stop me. Of course, she would be royally pissed and there would be consequences to my actions but I do have some measure of control here. So if I’m not comfortable with a particular routine, then it doesn’t happen at this showcase. Period, end of story. I feel better already.
We did also talk about showcase a bit. I brought it up because she started talking about how much time flies which just gave me the opportunity to say that it was only two months until showcase. Naturally, she groaned quite a bit and her husband even joined in calling me Chicken little for thinking that the sky is falling and that these routines won’t come together. It is hard to convey how important it is for me to look competent out there and that is in part because it is hard for me to describe what that even means. I think part of it is feeling comfortable enough so that my face doesn’t look like I’m thinking very hard about what the heck the next step is.
Last night was also the weekly practice party. The good news is I now realize I don’t have to worry about the old routines. I’ve done them so many times that they come back very quickly. I think she sensed my panic so we did a rumba, swing, fox trot and tango last night. Normally, she makes herself busy at parties leaving me to dance with others so this was a little unusual. It gave her the opportunity to get a little jab in because the first dance was rumba and we just hauled out the old routine and went through it and her comment as we were leaving the floor was “And you were worried about Showcase”. Decided not to go into the argument that I was more worried about the new open routines because I never really win those arguments. Funniest part of the night was when we were doing a fox trot and got into a part of the floor with some serious traffic congestion. There is a very basic fox trot step that our franchise calls the get out of trouble step – really just a rock forward to stop and then a side step to turn in a different direction. It is also a good way to change directions with a newbie so I use it a lot. That made it easy to use in this situation and we got around the crowd. She says to me “that was awesome” and her husband at the DJ booth made a comment about great floor-craft. Seemed obvious to me so it was strange to get such nice feedback for such a simple step.
Also got called on to break up a new couple who was attending their first party. They had done a rumba step at group and she was tying to describe it so I did what I thought it was and she got a little excited. She did apologize a lot for not keeping up and mentioned being nervous. There should be some kind of life lesson in there for me but I can’t quite get to it. I wanted to tell her that she didn’t need to apologize and that she was doing just fine since it was all new material and that we all go through that awkward stage so she shouldn’t get down on herself. Yes, this is how I felt and, yes, I get the irony of the situation. And if I could partition that part of my mind and give myself the same talk when I get into those moods, it would make things so much better. What can I say, I only expect perfection from myself.
At the end of the night, her husband just randomly shook my hand and started talking about how wonderful I looked out there and how he’d love to look that way some day. Yes, that kind of stuff makes me feel good – how could it not? I think about all that has gone into to getting me to where I am as a dancer and how I’m still held back by my own self doubt and still carry some left over body image issues that make me very hesitant to try new things. I know those struggles don’t compare to real world problems but they matter to me. Dancing has been a life changing event for me and it still continues to be. Here’s a guy who I’ve never met who has no idea how I used to look; he just sees me as I am now and what I did was impressive enough for him to strike up a conversation afterward. Should I care this much about what other people think about my dancing? Probably not but since I am the absolute worst judge of my own talents and abilities, I need to go on the feedback I get from others to know that I’m doing something right and that I can keep moving forward. Yes, it will continue to push me out of my comfort zone but I also see that it is really expanding my comfort zone which is good.
So last night’s party was a good thing and really just what I needed after this week. Still not 100% back to normal but getting there.