Strange thing happens every time I’m away from dancing for a period of time. I hear certain songs and I just automatically flash to doing the appropriate dance. Mostly waltzes and Viennese Waltzes but it happens with other songs as well. Goes back to my feeling that dance is in some way addictive. At least those moments when it is right and the emotions it unlocks are.
I realize that a dance competition is somewhat like a vacation in that it is a chance to get away from who you normally are and go an do and experience things that you don’t normally get to do. But it is a fantasy. It isn’t real. At some point, you come crashing back to your real life and you have to put away the fantasy and go back to being your “normal” self.
And it isn’t that my normal life is bad. It is just the sameness of it all. So getting away to a warm place and being able to walk on the ocean and feel the heat and breeze and seeing all kinds of different things is so appealing because I can’t do that in my day to day life. It is the newness of it all and the contrast to the sameness of most days that has the appeal.
So, having just spent a lot of money for a vacation, is it really so different to spend a large amount of money to fly to a far away place and put on my dance clothes and pretend to be somebody else for a weekend? In one sense, it isn’t. Again, if you can set aside the money (boy is that easier said than done), it is the experience that will matter. It is the chance to escape into the world of dance and dream for a minute that I’m something different.
But there is one large difference. On a vacation, you go with no expectations. We do minimal planning – just the highlights of things that look interesting and then we let each day unfold. It is more about soaking up the different experience and just seeing how life happens.
For me, a dance competition is different. While you can talk about the experience, you do go to compete and be judged. As much as I can try to minimize that part of it, it will still happen. People will look at me and mark their little score sheets and judge who I am as a dancer. While I try to minimize the impact ahead of time, it still will pierce holes in my fantasy life.
I realize I could do better if I was more focused and spent more time on dancing. But, in the years I’ve been doing this, I also know that is not who I am. I’m just not that motivated and have too many other distractions and things that I can find to do rather than practicing that Bolero move in the kitchen. It is just who I am. And that will always limit what I can do at a comp as I know I’ll be up against those who take this much more seriously than I do.
At some point, then, the fantasy becomes a little too self-indulgent for me. If I’m not taking this as seriously as I should, then it just seems a little much to spend a significant amount of money just to escape my normal life for a couple of days.
No, I’ll keep doing this because I love it. And I can keep doing the Showcases because the price point and time is easily justified. I may still do one comp a year but I have firmly decided that I’m going to turn down this upcoming Big Dance Event. Time to live in reality for a bit and maybe through more focus into my lessons.
Oh, I’m back by the way.
Here’s a musical interlude where I got the inspiration for the title of this post. Low budget video but I loved the song when it came out. The long intro was kind of like “Lunatic Fringe” by Red Rider which was another interesting 80’s song. The leopard print one piece in this video has just got to go though.