This is something the Girl with the Tree Tattoo has mentioned and it is a real thing for me as well. It was nice to be isolated today to get a chance to rest and recharge but I had a coaching lesson tonight and, on the drive to the studio, it started to sink in that Showcase was over. And that always brings on some sadness which seems strange but to me it makes perfect sense.
Showcase is an opportunity to reconnect with dancers from the other studios who I only see a couple times a year. No, they are real close friends but as a social introvert (yes such a thing exists), it is nice to catch up and re-establish the bond I have with them. I know we only connect on dancing and don’t know much about life beyond the studio but it is the shared experience of dancing and things like showcase that draws us together. I met my “rival” at this event and we had some good natured guy fun which isn’t something I get to do a lot so I do enjoy that. I suppose for me that some of the down part is just because I’m “on” the entire day and that does wear down my battery so being a little blue is just part of the recharging process. But it is also kind of sad to think that I won’t see these people again for many months. Yes, I could probably try to make a more permanent type bond but I never really think about it until after the event.
The other thing about Showcase is the clothing. Put on the outfits and the dances automatically take on a different feel. There is something that just screams that this one is real and these count for something. Maybe it is just the day when you can live out the fantasy of being a real dancer and doing this every weekend. It always puts me in a different frame of mine and then adjusting back to reality is difficult because I’m not a professional dancer and now I have to go back to my real job.
Then, there are patterns you settle in to. Like Monday at 8:15 has been formation practice for the last couple of months. Now, it isn’t and that just feels weird. Yes, it is nice to potentially have Monday nights open but there was something special about doing those practices. Again, it was a way to bond with some of the other students (yeah, I’m all about these types of connections) because there is just something great about a shared experience and we all went through it.
The last practices before Showcase were more focused as well. There was a goal in sight and it was just work and grind to get ready. The next event is months off. I know you can’t keep the same intensity for that long a period of time but now there is the whole “what’s next” feeling.
The other thing about Showcase is that it is over before you know it. I know it is an all day thing but it goes by so fast. I had one long stretch of doing multiple smooth dances in a row. There was no time to think or really enjoy the experience. It was just grinding through the heats. Then, I get done and realize that I’ve done all my smooth heats with Kid T and I wanted more. Its a long day and I’m paying for it now. But in the moment, you don’t want it to end.
I guess the let down is natural because you’ve been building to this for such a long time and now it is over and all the shiny clothes get put away and it is back to the grind.
I did have a coaching lesson today. I may explain more later. For now, I’ll just say he gave me a couple of pointers but the main goal was the choreograph our Viennese Waltz for Showstoppers. I don’t learn well by watching so it will take doing it for it to sink in but it does look cool.
Then, I got snagged by the Costume Fairy. They brought a representative of one of the designers with bright shiny dresses to Showcase. Then, Z brought her to the studio tonight. I know it was a trap for Tex because she did the same thing to me once. Tex ended up getting a new Latin shirt. And, after my lesson, the Costume Fairy said I needed a new one as well because the white turtleneck wasn’t really working.
This is the part of ballroom that kind of rubs me the wrong way. I get that it is a visual sport and that will always be a part of it. But, to be judged on your appearance just feels wrong to me. It doesn’t help if you got body image issues and they are talking about your flaws and why certain things won’t work for you or how they can disguise your issues. I can’t help but feel like a cow at a 4-h fair being auctioned off.
And then it brought back something from yesterday that I had managed to forget but still bothered me. I’ve mentioned before the Kid T has a significant number of tattoos and most of them are highly visible in latin ballroom gowns. I know some people get real judgy about people with tats and it seems to be a special problem for ballroom. I think the Girl with the Tree Tattoo could speak to this better than I could but, for some reason, they made Kid T try to cover up her most egregious arm tattoos. Now, nothing could totally cover them so it was something that tried to conceal them a bit so they weren’t too obvious. They didn’t do that at the last Showcase so I don’t know why it was an issue here unless they are setting her up for what might happen at a bigger comp with real judges. She was worried about the stuff flaking off which it didn’t. I suspect it was either Z or OwnerGuy (or both) who made her do it. I feel bad now because I wanted to ask her about it but I figured she was just following orders. Personally, I think this is stupid. Tattoos weren’t normal for my generation but they are becoming more mainstream and it is time for people to adjust. This may sound a little silly but people get tattoos for a reason and they become part of who they are. To force someone to hide their identity just because someone may not be comfortable with it doesn’t feel right to me.
Anyway, even though I don’t really like the whole visual aspect of this, I decided I needed to play along so I’ve got a new Latin shirt on order as well. yes, there is some bling but not a lot. Look at me. Don’t look at me. introvert dilemma.