A common recurring theme for me is that a seemingly random comment triggers some deep thinking that may or may not be related to the original comment. I’m sure part of this is the INTP in me that continually looks for grand unifying theories to explain things and then continues to evaluate and change those theories as more information becomes available. Or maybe I’m just a little bit off kilter and my mind is like a cage full of gerbils on exercise wheels. Some spin fast, some spin slow, some don’t move and some get going so fast the wheel just loops them around and around. This is also why it is truly interesting for me to work with a dance instructor who is an extreme extrovert with no filters who blurts out the first thing on her mind without even really thinking about what it means. I’m guessing you are now totally confused about how the title fits into this post. I mean who uses skinny and sexy in a title and then segues into gerbils. I hear you screaming “GET ON WITH IT” but this is just how my mind works from time to time.
Anyway, the story starts about a week and a half after we got back from Houston. Z had gone to another competition the next weekend and she was raving about some guy who was wearing a vest that created a giant V across his chest. Her comment was that is would be perfect for “my body type”. I had the briefest thought of asking her what my body type actually was because I was of course curious. But, as a formerly really fat guy (who still needs work), I decided I really didn’t want to hear her describe me. It is again a reminder of how free these people seem to be about describing physical appearance and also how much of this hobby is visual. As an extreme introvert with all kinds of body image issues, I do wonder how and why I ended up finding ballroom dancing as my hobby/obsession. She did leave with the comment that if I ever channeled my inner girl and wanted to get another vest that we could maybe do that the next time we ran into the designer. I was interested but non committal.
As luck would have it (although I have to wonder if it was luck or a set up), a dress designer was at the studio last night. This was strange because Z and OwnerGuy were in Vegas until Monday and didn’t get back until yesterday. Also, the only announcement that was made was a posting on their Facebook page. Normally, things like this are widely publicized long in advance but there were no posters or any other announcements put up in the studio. As I say, this is a little strange and does make me wonder if this wasn’t arranged. I’ve actually met this person several times. She fit me for the dance pants back in the spring and was part of the group of women who convinced me to get the velvet vest for rhythm dancing in Chicago. I saw her again in Houston as well. So I get to the studio a little early (as I usually do) and she tells me that Z has already approached her about a vest and asked whether I’d be interested. I said why not and that we’d talk after my lesson.
So she’s draws up a sketch and I’ll admit the concept appealed to me. Since I have no real concept of what makes me look good, we showed the sketch to Z to get final approval and it seemed to be consistent with what she saw at the comp. She talked about how the other vest is nice but classic while this design is more edgy and would make me stand out a little more. That’s when she unleashed the “so you can find your skinny and sexy self line”. So, it will take some time to put together but after this showcase, I don’t have another event until next spring and it will be ready before then. The fitting was fun as always. I’m assuming that when you’ve fit a bunch of people, you kind of get numb to it so you just make observations that aren’t intended to be positive or negative. But she was trying to find my waist – I guess I’m high waisted for whatever that means. Either that or she couldn’t really detect where it actually was. Who knows.
Now why did this send me into deep thinking. Well the larger point Z was trying to make is that a lot of success is mental and anything that you can do to improve your self-confidence is going to be reflected in how you dance and how you are perceived. I’ve mentioned this before but part of my job as the male is to take my territory and dance “big” so I’m more visible. I think she has some clues about my self-image issues so maybe dressing me is something a little different and a little more non traditional will change how I feel about myself. If I get the right outfit, then maybe I will feel skinny and sexy and maybe that will be enough to drive some self-confidence which would allow me to be more assertive on the dance floor. That would translate into my lead and that would be a good thing. In theory, I know this kind of thing is supposed to work. Just saying something positive about yourself over time is supposed to help you believe it. Of course, I’m too skeptical for that theory and “skinny” and “sexy” are some of the last words I would ever use to describe myself. But, maybe with the new vest …
The self-confidence thing is still a work in progress. We worked the hustle routine right before I sat down with the designer. Going over the pieces, it all made sense and I could do things. Then, she puts it to music and it felt like things just sped up way out of control like and old 45 record played on 78 (yes, I’m dating myself a bit here). I got all messed up in parts and it all felt rushed and sucky. We had a little pep talk about that and she gets into a life lesson she has from the last weekend which ended up with her telling me to “do what I do best” which is to just dance and not over think the footwork and other parts. My internal demon just couldn’t resist popping a thought into my head when she said “do what you do best” and my thought was “I am, I’m screwing up real good”. Yes, I know this is not conducive to successful performance and I do need to figure out a way to just kill that guy once and for all. On the plus side, I’m recognizing earlier that what I’m doing isn’t helpful. As she said, at the end of the day, it is just dancing. We’ve got another lesson tonight and I’m just burying last night and going in there tonight to just lock this routine down since Showcase is four days away (as I scream inside my head at how close it actually is).
And, since I’ve already gone there, I’ll just leave you with this. (Hope it works)