I Could be Happy

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The title of this post comes from a song that was playing on the radio as I drove back from the studio tonight.  Unless you are seriously into 80’s new wave, you probably don’t know it but its by a group called Altered Images.  I had flipped the Sirius dial to First Wave which is one of my go to channels but this isn’t a song they play that often.  I get inspiration from strange places and I took this as a message that I needed to do one more post.  Plus, I’m off for a week since the studio is closed and I don’t know if I’ll have anything to say so I wanted to leave you with an upbeat post because I’m really in a good place right now.

I’ve mentioned before that one of my new things is to find little quotes and stash them on Pinterest.  The other day, I hit on one that said “Be with those who bring out the best in you, not the stress in you”.  The ripple effects of not having to deal with all the negative energy that Z and I created is spilling into the rest of my life.  I’ve noticed an uptick in my Facebook posts – again nothing serious but I’m just finding more little silly things to post about what is happening in my life.  At work, they are doing a six week fitness challenge and I got roped in at the last minute to join a team since they were short one person.  But, as part of that, I’ve now got a running fit bit challenge with two people I’ve not met and so we are passing messages back and forth encouraging each other.  There’s just a lot of positive stuff going on right now.

I’m not going to say that I’m the most perceptive person in the world but I do think that when I’m around someone long enough that I can sense when the pattern of behavior is different.  I’m not overly sensitive like others but I can pick up on negative vibes especially when they are directed at me.  I know this sounds like a little too much new age crap that the logical part of my mind wants to dismiss but when you are with someone long enough, I do think you’ll feed off each other.  There were days when she seemed generally enthusiastic about our lesson but there were too many days when it felt more like she was just going through the motions.  I used to laugh off her sarcastic stuff but I can really see the cumulative effect now and just how twisted up I was inside.  Dance had become my sanctuary, the thing that lit me up inside and that flame was slowly being extinguished and it felt like I was trapped in this bad relationship that was eventually going to force me to give up what I’ve come to love so much.

But that’s not the case anymore.  I’m excited about going to the studio and I look forward to each trip back.  Today, we did Mambo and worked the new step into our little routine.  We practiced how to loop it and it now flows nicely.  I got off time once during the loop but I corrected it.  I will admit that I started to tense up when I knew I was off time because I guess I was expecting the type of rebuke that I’m used to getting.  But it didn’t happen.  And, the Body Double was full of praise because I recognized I was off time and fixed it.  I’ve said this before, but I can’t learn if I’m afraid to make mistakes because mistakes are going to happen.  My personality doesn’t deal well with sharp criticism because it doesn’t create a safe environment for me.  This did and it made me feel good.

Then we moved on to Rumba.  We discarded about half the existing closed routine because it was Bronze and not Silver so we jumped into the middle where the Silver started.  There was a part of one step that Z had to change right before we went to Boston because she hadn’t done it according to the syllabus and when dancing closed category, there are certain lines that can’t be crossed.  Well, something about the way the Body Double described the steps and how to do them just clicked in my head.  (This is becoming a common theme)  So we blew right through that and got to a new step that she wanted to teach me which will help finish up the Silver II.  Not going to say I mastered it but we made a good start and I know I’ll get it.

Some of this is teaching style which I’ve already described but some of this is my mental state.  I’m suspecting that there was a large part of me that so hated the way she corrected me that I would fight against doing things because if you don’t try, you can’t be wrong.  Or, I would fall back on my “I can’t hear timing” which would just be a way to try and deflect the blow that I knew was coming.  I know these things held me back but I couldn’t stop myself from doing them.  But, remove the stress, and I’m just naturally more open about doing things.

So, yes, I am still clearly in the honeymoon phase with the Body Double.  I am finally in a good place in my head and I know that will make a difference in my dancing.  To be honest, I really want to take another shot at a comp just to see what the difference is.  I know we have more work to do to get fully comfortable with the routines but I know that will come.

See, I told you I’m in a good place.  It feels amazing.


  1. So happy for you! I love that you’re gaining insight into yourself too. “If you don’t try, you can’t be wrong.” I need to take that insight with me! It’s another sign that you’re in a good, healthy place.

  2. This post has got me (a total stranger to you) smiling a big ‘ol Kool Aid smile. I haven’t been back to read your blog in a while, so I went back a few months and just now read about how things went down, but I am SO glad to read that you are still blogging, and more importantly, still dancing! As a relative newbie, I see people like you giving me a glimpse of what is possible in my future, and it is exciting, enlightening, and a tiny bit scary (but in a good way). Thank you for continuing to share your process and progress with us. Sounds like you’re getting your mojo back and re-finding that endorphin buzz that hooked us all into this crazy sport in the first place!

    1. Yes, I am clearly getting back to a point where it is fun again. I’m happy you found something useful here. Of course, I’m a little hurt that you went away for a bit. I expect you to be here more often from now on!! 😀

      1. Don’t be hurt. 😉 I was busy dancing my fool head off. I was in a fight to the teeth with my friend for “most active student” last month (she won three weeks, I won one week; damn work for keeping me out of the studio), had my first coaching, got a terrifyingly sexy Paso choreographed for me. It’s been intense. And now I’m back to a week of struggling with basic movement technique and feeling like I know nothing, so… it was good to read about your good days. It helps.

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