Signs Point to “No”

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With apologies to my Magic 8 Ball since I’ve changed a word just to fit my current thinking.  Had a lesson tonight but neither Kid T nor OwnerGuy brought up the Big Dance Event.  I wasn’t going to broach the topic either.  I guess they figure I need more time to think about it.  Kid T suggested I go through the pros and cons of each option which I could do but I’m going to go off BCBallroomDancer’s comment about figuring out what I want from dance.  Basically, I’m just doing some more deep thinking and doing it for the world (well that very limited part of the world that has chosen to follow along) to see.

Why do I dance?

It all comes back to those fleeting moments when you feel alive.  It is so hard to describe with words.  A lot of people say dancing is fun and that’s true but, for me, it is just so much more than that.  Maybe because I’m an INFP and we just FEEL things on a much deeper level.  Or it goes back to a comment Sunny made after the last Showcase where she said I lit up on the floor.  Well, if that is true (and I certainly believe that it is), then it is because I can’t hide the feelings that are coursing through me.

I think for the longest time, I kind of repressed the feelings and emotions.  Guys aren’t really supposed to be this emotional and I’d been told all along that I was this great thinker and Mr Spock doesn’t cry at movies.  (Well, I don’t cry either but I can get choked up at certain scenes).  And the dancing released all that.  There are good and bad things to that.  I find myself having stronger emotional reactions to things now but I’ve gotten more in touch with my empathic side which isn’t a bad thing.  Anyway, so when I say I love the way it makes me feel, just know that the depth of feeling is more than I could ever explain with words.

Now, this doesn’t happen all the time.  Remember that these are fleeting moments.  It is those times when you hit a series of moves and things just flow like a river.  Every move just easily leads into the next and the next and the world just falls away and it is just you and your partner and the music and the dance.  See, there is something special about dance because it is a partner activity.  For me that just adds an extra little boost.  My favorite moments as a boss is watching the team come together to tackle some problem.  There is something special about being able to work together with someone when there are no egos involved and everyone just does their part and it runs like clockwork.  Of course, my pro partners are probably doing a little back leading but I’m still cool with that because if I don’t notice it, then it doesn’t impact the flow of things.

OK, so I dance because I want to FEEL!!

The reason I continue to grind through practices and continue to work on technique is because I know the end product will make the dance better and it might then mean more of those moments.  As much as I sometimes hate the grind of doing something over and over again, I know that it goes to a good end.  And a comp is the payoff for all that grinding.  It is the desert after you’ve eaten all your vegetables.

The other reason to do a comp is to get over the fear.  Facing a challenge and completing it does give me a sense of accomplishment.  (Well, except the first one which was just terrifying in so many ways)  There is that thing about rising to meet something.  But, as a reason, that one kind of loses its impact after you’ve done a few of these.  I mean I know I can do it.  Even though this one is far away and would be a whole new environment, I’d get through it.  I used to think that comps would give you a good measure of where you stand but I no longer think that since marks can be subjective and you have no good way of judging the pool of dancers you are competing against.  It is certainly possible to dance better and get worse marks because the competition is stronger.  And the reverse would be true.  So if it isn’t really a good yardstick and the whole challenge thing isn’t as important, that isn’t a strong enough reason to do it.

I would certainly get a few of those moments at an event like that.  And there is the fantasy element of getting to wear the dance outfits and being around all the others in the same situation.  We come from all over and I’m sure there are a wide variety of jobs but, for a weekend, we can all be dancers.  For someone who loves to spend time reading about different worlds, actually getting to live in one for a short period of time is appealing.  But it is really worth the cost?  I seriously don’t get in to all the extras they add in.  The dinners aren’t anything special and the opening event doesn’t really jazz me up.  And, the money and rules limit the number of heats you can do.  I can do a Showcase and dance twice as much for about 1/6th of the cost.  And I can get a heck of lot more moments at a Showcase.

The other reasons for going would be to not disappoint Kid T or OwnerGuy.  I wasn’t expecting his offer and I don’t want him to think I’m ungrateful because I’m not.  But, even I know that doing this to not hurt another person’s feelings isn’t a sufficient reason.  I’m not that much of a people pleaser.

And, while I don’t want to sound too ungrateful, this does kind of seem like too little, too late.  When I was in school, I was the kind who would cram the night before for an exam.  I can’t do that with dancing.  I need to have things locked and loaded so I can just do rounds without thinking.  The stuff OwnerGuy wants to do is needed and it would improve the look but it would be introducing new things and new concepts right before a comp and I just know I’d be focused on that and something else would go to heck and I’d end up as a complete mess.  Well, I don’t know if that would happen but I have my strong suspicions that it would.

I just don’t see enough upside to justify the cost and there is still the part of me that is a little hurt that I’ve sort of been shoved to the side so they could focus on other dancers.  His latest offer was nice but it doesn’t quite balance the scales.

So why do I stay at the Famous Franchise?  Some of it is out of loyalty as we INFP’s can be loyal to a fault.  But some of it is the other people I’ve met there.  Right now, Studio B still feels a little alien and foreign and I don’t know that more time there would fix that.  There is something about the Franchise atmosphere that is a little different.  Maybe it is the fact that we’ve all spent large sums of money to be there that creates a bond that just doesn’t seem to exist at Studio B.  I’m left with two imperfect situations but both have enough good points that it doesn’t make sense to me to keep searching for a perfect solution.

And, here’s the thing that I have to admit to myself.  I love doing solos at the Famous Franchise Showcase.  It is still enough to get a bit of a rush when you are walking onto the floor and they are announcing you and you are waiting for the music to start.  But the audience is small enough and familiar enough that it doesn’t feel totally unsafe.  I wish I could understand why the performing is so attractive to me but it is what it is.  I know Studio B has a Showcase but, if there is one event that the Famous Franchise does right, it is Showcase.  At least for our studios since we have enough to do it at a central location.  Some places do it in studio and that just isn’t quite the same feeling.

So what do I want?

First, the opportunity to continue performing.  Secondly, the opportunity to get my fix of those fleeting moments.  Third, the opportunity to keep learning because being a better dancer means more moments.

Can a competition be a part of that?  Yes, but it doesn’t have to be.  I’m going to be a bit of a spoiled brat here.  If they want me to compete, then I’m going to have to see more from them.  Want me to spend a significant amount of money?  Then I expect more in return.  I expect the progress checks and pointers that I should have been getting all along.

So, if I keep progressing and keep doing Showcases and keep adapting the routines as I learn new steps, would I be happy?  Yes, I think so.  Could I live without the comps?  Again, yes, I think so.  Have I made any sense?  Who knows.  At this point I’m just kind of rambling and probably making the same points over and over again.

But I’m done with dancing for this week because we had something to get done tomorrow night and I had to cancel my lesson.  Next week I’m on vacation.  We’ll see what happens when I get back.