The results and a bad first lesson

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So yesterday was a weird and not so productive day.  I got my placements from dance-o-rama.  As I said, I did two rounds of both open and closed smooth and rhythm.  The placements were significantly better for the second set.  I suppose I should have been happy about that but my logical mind couldn’t wrap itself around the disparity.  I think Z expected me to jump for joy but does a first place really count if you are only dancing against 2 other people?  I guess I might be one of the few people who looks for the cloud behind the silver lining but the first set of placements felt more like what I deserved so why should I get overly excited about the second set.  I tried to explain my logic to Z and I felt my logic was undeniable but she didn’t want to hear it and just went off on a couple of tangents about different judges, what they saw, etc.  She eventually said “don’t dance for the marks” which is good advice but I think she wanted to start with the good marks to improve my mood and only got to that statement when I tried to figure out just why there was such a disparity.

It made it a little awkward for me at work because I kept getting the “how’d you do?” questions and that meant results to everyone so I explained the disparity but I eventually had to share the good results which everyone was happy about but still don’t feel particularly real to me.

Against the real competition, I did about what I did last year but I did step up a level so I guess it all evens out.  It confirms that my strongest dances are the smooth dances but my best rhythm dance is Rumba.  This was the same as last year and still comes as a bit of a shock.  I got better marks for Viennese Waltz which made me happy.  OwnerGuy said my posture was better than last year.  But it again confirms what I believe to be true that the gap between a showcase dancer and a professional one is large and I still have much work to do.  Since I used a sports analogy last year, I’ll toss another one into the mix.  I’m like a college basketball team from a small conference that dominates the conference and gets an invite to the big dance but can never find a way to spring the upset.  Sometimes they get close but it is never quite good enough.  Call me Belmont.  I guess at the end of the day, I’ve done enough to earn a spot in the big time even though I really have no shot but I can always hope for that upset.  After all, I did manage to finish ahead of some people and there were those “firsts” in the second set of heats.

The second argument was over the video.  I tried watching the closed waltz, cha-cha and rumba but my first gut reaction was so negative that I couldn’t make my way through them.  (I have since finished watching the open smooth ones and a couple more of the closed rhythm).  Honestly, I can’t find much good and certainly not the 10 things I was supposed to look for.  My head still finds its way forward and my arm styling sucks.  I guess the only good thing is that the routines do tend to flow nicely so I can transition from step to step fairly well.  Frankly, I looked flat, boring and forgettable.  But that’s just me.  I know others at the event liked it so it couldn’t have been all bad.  I just can’t find much good in it right now.

Here’s the ironic thing about last night. Group class was the Rumba.  It was a step I don’t routinely do but it is a step I’ve done enough times to feel comfortable with.  We were two ladies short (think we are one of the few studios that is usually short on ladies).  So the statue was forced to dance but one guy had to practice without a partner.  At the end of the lesson, she was going to get one of the other instructors (the body double) to dance with me so we could do the demonstration that ends every group class.  But the other solo guy (his wife was absent tonight) decides that he’d rather video the demo so he videos me and the statue doing the step.  This is not the first time he’s done this and all I could think of is that he has likely seen me more on video than I have.  Perhaps he doesn’t see all the negative crap that I do.

But then back to the lesson.  I again put Z in a no win situation as I tend to do.  I don’t like feeling like I’m having smoke blown up my nether regions so I don’t like what I perceive to be false praise and there is this habit at lessons to let a student struggle for a couple of times and then tell them that they’ve just done it right.  If I can feel or see an obvious difference, then I’m OK with that.  If not, then I feel they are just trying to pacify me and I hate that.  On the other hand, I am super sensitive to criticism at times.  I should be better since it is done to make my dancing better but I won’t lie, it hurts at times.  Yes, a thicker skin would help but I haven’t developed that yet.  What I’ve developed is my defense mechanism which is to just respond “I suck” or words like that before she gets an opportunity to critique a step so I’ve taken the sting out of whatever words she is going to use.  Yes, I get that is counter productive and probably a little twisted but some days that is just how I roll.  It pisses her off to no end and she did say that she felt like she couldn’t win and having typed this out, I can see that she was right.

There is another open house coming up on Friday night and I settled on doing the Waltz since it is my strongest dance and the rest of the demos were rhythm dances.  She asked if I wanted to do my open or closed routine.  The closed would have been the safer choice but I, of course, said I wanted to do the open routine.  In part because I rarely get an opportunity to get the entire floor so I figured I’d take advantage of it.  She was then trying to point out areas where I could improve which is what lead to the fights described above.  Bottom line is she ended up storming off the lesson at the end so I ended up with OwnerGuy talking me down a little bit since he could see things got a little heated.  Some days we are oil and water and last night was one of those days.  Fortunately, I don’t have a lesson tonight and the group is Samba which does not interest me so I get a night off.  I really do hate it when lessons end like this but I can’t figure out how to make it stop once we start down that path.  The rest of the week could be a little chilly.


  1. Wall – I thought Dance-O-Rama would be run as the Dancesport comps are, with heat placements announced publicly, in batches, during breaks. Sounds like you got your feedback privately, the way I get it when I do a showcase. I thought the “real” A.M. comps were different. I’m doing Washington International in December, and was figuring I’d best gear up for coming in last and having everyone know it.

    1. It’s a mix. They scatter competitions over the day and on the first night. With those, you get the placements live. With the general heats, you don’t get them live.

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