The Learning Rollercoaster

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OK, I might have spiraled off the deep end a little bit in my last post.  But you start with the fact that this is way outside my comfort zone and that I have issues with self-confidence and that I tend to hold myself to an impossibly high standard and you have a volatile mix that can produce rather intense emotional storms.  Ballroom has led me to make several physical transformations so it shouldn’t shock me that it is also leading to some mental transformations.  I’m hoping this is a two steps forward, one step back thing but watch out for those back steps.

My instructor said something interesting to me the other day.  She said that when they go to group meetings and the like, she talks a lot about me and the challenges I present (who knew I was a test case), but she said she hears back from many others that they have similar students and so they bounce ideas of each other.  Then she said something like “see, you aren’t the only one who feels this way”.  Without this blog and the links to other dancers, I might not have believed her but I’ve read so many accounts that contain a lot of the same themes and issues that I have so it is true that I’m not alone in my thinking.  Of course, I’ve hidden the existence of this from her so I didn’t mention the ballroom village but I am glad I started this if only to get linked into others to know that getting around these things is possible.

It just comes down to having to step back and look at things from a different perspective.  One thing that has always bothered me is when she takes a step or move that I’ve been doing for years and changes it.  The first ugly thought that pops into my head is that I’ve been doing it wrong all this time and then you can imagine how quickly that spirals downhill until I’m convinced that I’m just suck as a dancer.  But, I’m trying to think of this like remodeling a house.  You may tear out certain things and build new things but most of the foundation remains unchanged.  And it isn’t that the old house was “wrong” but that now it needs some type of change or enhancement.  That’s all that is really happening here.  A subtle change to a step can make it easier to lead or keep you on time better or some other such benefit.  And, I should know by now that the teaching method of the famous franchise studio that I attend is to constantly evolve and change things.  The whole “learn to crawl before you learn to walk” philosophy.  This will take work but in the end it is about being open to these changes and not taking them as a personal assault on my dancing ability.

I don’t have any more lessons this week since they went to a franchise convention in Miami.  But one of the other instructors is going to take over the hustle formation lesson tonight which could be very interesting.  But it will give me more time to work on focusing on the positive.  Maybe we can go for three steps forward, one step backward.

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