I suppose everyone reacts differently to things like the Big Dance Event. For me, it is like a series of waves crashing over you. The first one hits and you aren’t ready for it because you can’t judge the strength and it knocks you around a bit. Then, you think you’ve got it judged and can handle the next one and sometimes you can but the waves all have different strengths and you are standing on sand that moves and shifts as the water rolls by. The waves can speed up leaving you precious little time to reset your balance and prepare for the next one to hit. Sometimes they space out and you can catch your breath and enjoy the seashore for a bit while mentally getting ready because you know another one is coming. At the end, while it all felt like a lot, you survived and can walk out of the water to move on.
So, some obvious questions with attempts to answer. All of this does assume that Kid T is going to hang around longer than Showcase. As days go by and we have more conversations, it appears that my first instinct wasn’t quite correct but you really never know.
First, there is a Smaller Dance Event that comes up relatively soon. Do I plan to go? No. What this last event showed me is that there is still work to be done on the open routines. Having an event on the calendar is a strong incentive to work hard, there is no question about that. But that also puts extra pressure to get things right and I don’t need to go back into the cooker so soon after this event. I want time to really focus on getting the footwork and the choreography and then build up to being able to run these without having to think as much.
Would I do another one of these Big Dance Events? Yes. I’m never going to be the kind of student who makes this a regular activity like Tex and Montana and I’m not going to go to the exotic locales where travel becomes prohibitive. I can pick my spots and go to ones that are easier to get to. The one caveat is that we need a team like we had this time. Would never do another event like this when I’m the only representative from my studio.
I know that I am always going to struggle with getting so far inside my head during prep for one of these things that I forget the basic fact that dancing can and does bring a lot of joy and wonder into my life. Even with the screw-ups, this weekend reminded me of that. I needed a sharp talking to from Montana at one point and I’m not happy about messing up but there were those moments when things just clicked and the feeling in those moments is something that can’t be described.
I found during the prep that I liked having something to work towards. Showcase is a good thing but this is a step above Showcase and the prep felt different. It was hard work and I was sore a lot of the time but it also felt good because you had something to shoot for. Actually getting to the event and getting on the floor was the reward for all that work. And there really is nothing like one of these events. Showcase is fun but this is a different league. Yes, it can be stressful and noisy and chaotic but it is a whole different world and it is nice to visit a completely different world from time to time.
I’m not the most competitive person in the world and I’m certainly not the best dancer but I have every right to be there. I am a dancer and I’ve earned my place on that floor. I’m not some imposter pretending he can dance. No, my skills don’t match up with some of the others but I can do this. I can hold my own on a floor where half the men are professionals. I didn’t feel small, scared or intimidated. I caught the eye of a couple of judges at the start of some of the dances and I just hit them with a big smile. I think, if nothing else, I was able to bring out some of the joy I was feeling and I’ll take that. This is what I take away from this event. The challenge will now be holding on to that feeling over the next couple of weeks. This is another reason to do these events because each one shows me that I can face down these demons and beat them back and just go out and have fun!
I don’t know if I’m truly back in the saddle again but I’m also not being dragged by the horse anymore.