So How’d You Do??

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We will come back to that but, first, a little rant about the lack of organization.  I’ll fully admit that I’m not a planner and I can’t imagine all the work that goes into pulling one of these things off.  Still, as a paying customer, you have certain expectations and you just wonder why these people can’t iron out all the glitches knowing they have to put two of these things on each year.

Let’s start at the beginning.  I get there, get the program and start going over the heat list.  I don’t see myself in any Tangos which seems strange since I know I agreed to do four.  Z comes over and pulls out her little sign up sheet and there are no Tangos marked on that because somehow what I had in one place didn’t get transferred to the other list.  Kid T is around and we find four open heats and so she goes up to get that corrected.

I continue looking through the heats and find the same thing is true in Rumba so we again have to find four open heats and get me added.  At this point, I’m not really even sure what I paid for and whether it was correct because I don’t know which list was used to total up the cost but then I guess that really isn’t my problem.  I know Z had staff go through and match the sign up sheet to the heat list so they assumed there was no problem.  If it was me, I would have gone back to the instructor to make sure everything was OK.  I deal with similar things at work all the time.  People do what they are told but never look at the big picture.  In other words, would it make sense for someone like me to not have any Tango or Rumba heats?  That should have been a red flag somewhere.  It did all get fixed except the ladies who were managing the floor didn’t have an updated list and so we lost track of where we were and almost missed a Rumba heat.

The other thing that is a constant complaint of mine is that they always have way more heats than they have time for.  The day was supposed to start at 10AM and end at 5PM.  That gives you 420 minutes to work with.  They had roughly 185 heats.  Assume 2 minutes per heat to allow time to get people on and off the floor and you’ve burned up 370 minutes of it.  Then, there were about 30 solos.  Assume 1.5 minutes for each gives you another 45 minutes gone which leaves you a buffer of 5 minutes.  Which is already gone because you know you need time before and after each solo round to give people time to change out of costume.  Then it starts to look like you’ve just crammed as many heats as you could in there to make as much money as possible and we always go into turbo mode towards the end to try and rush through things so we don’t blow past the allotted end time.  Then the dinner and dancing gets seriously compressed.  I suppose it is hard to limit the number of dances that someone wants to do but it just adds to the whole chaotic feel when they get way behind schedule.

Oh, and I should mention one other thing.  When the list first came out, there were no Peabody’s on it so I didn’t sign up for any.  Late in the game, OwnerGuy says there are some and so we sign up for two.  They are in the program but my name wasn’t there so Kid T adds me to the list.  Then, we get to that heat and they suddenly skip it because the other studio decided to scratch the heat because they didn’t hear from OwnerGuy in time.  There was no Peabody music queued up so we had to do them at the end of the smooth heats.

As I said, this is a complicated event and I know it takes a lot to put one together and I certainly would do no better.  And, you don’t expect perfection but there is a level where there are too many glitches. The other Showcase I’ve done seems to run like clockwork so it is possible to make it happen.

As always, I took today off.  I’ve got some new blisters on my feet and they are sore.  My legs are sore as well and my knee isn’t happy with me.  The muscles in my upper back are also sore – if I try to take dance frame, I can feel it.  That might be a good sign if it meant I was more consistent with my frame yesterday.  And, I’ve got a strange new near blister on my left hand.  Makes me wonder if having a strong connection puts some extra friction on the hands since the left tends to stay in contact more than the right.  Nothing serious but just evidence that dancing is a hard physical thing and taking a day off to rest makes a lot of sense.

And, I’ve mentioned it before, but the title of this post tends to drive me crazy.  If it were a comp, I could talk about placements although that wouldn’t make a lot of sense to anyone either.  But with no “scores”, how does one answer that question?  I could show them my award for doing three solos but that’s all about quantity and not quality because I could have botched them all and I still would have gotten the plaque.

What I get out of these is intangible.  Doing a solo, even in front of a receptive audience, is a stretch and it is an accomplishment to do them.  Pushing back the demons of doubt and insecurity and just dancing is a win.  It is the little things like getting stuck in a heat and figuring out a way to maneuver out of it by rotating a step slightly differently without losing time.  So there’s the big win of just doing it and then the day is full of all these small little victories.  The only problem is that you don’t keep score so how do you communicate that to someone who doesn’t understand?  It is a double edged sword for me because I would love to engage people in a deep conversation about dancing and what it means to me but I know most people just want to hear about wins and scores which Showcase doesn’t provide.  It makes for an interesting contradiction.  I’d love for them to ask but then they ask the one question that just makes it hard for me to answer.  I actually start getting defensive about why there are no scores and then I never get a chance to launch in to how it really makes me feel.  Dancing is too important to turn in to idle chit chat but that’s the level that most of the world operates on.

Well, how did I do?  There’s really another big problem in answering that question.  What do I use as a yardstick.  I keep coming back to how I end up feeling at the end of the day.  In some ways, I still feel that I’m holding back.  I listen to music and certain songs can trigger strong emotions and I’d love to be able to find a way to bring those out because I know they are in me.  I just don’t feel like I’m able to.  I reach inside but something blocks me.  So I’m always left thinking I could have done better.

But then Kid T tells me that someone told her that our Viennese Waltz was beautiful.  I get someone else telling me how much they loved the Quickstep I did with Sunny just because it was basic moves but it looked clean and sharp.  So how do I reconcile things like that and how do I weave all that together into a coherent picture?  Did I move the needle forward or am I still in neutral spinning my wheels.  I’ll get my feedback later this week which will provide some additional data.

The struggle still is to internalize what I’m hearing.  People keep telling me I’m good and the demon that lives inside my head says “no, you’re not that good.  you should be better”.  Why I continue to listen many to that voice and not the others is the struggle which continues.



  1. So just like misery, doubt loves company. It’s oddly comforting to read things in your posts that came straight out of my head! The whole struggle to bring out/release those stronger emotions but being blocked from them somehow – yup! That’s me!
    Even if you’re not sure how to measure it, I’m betting you did great. So congratulations!

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