The Existential Dancer

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Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.

The last two nights were focused on finishing up the Argentine Tango and then we brought back the Peabody which is a fun little dance.  But I have deeper issues to discuss (oh great, it’s going to be one of those posts)  Nah, maybe not, I use this to sort stuff out and you just get to come along for the ride.

As is typical with Showcase, the judges who will be doing the event are coming to the studio the next week for coaching.  Normally, our Famous Franchise is closed on Monday but they are opening it for one of the coaches.  I got the hard sell to sign up for a lesson on Monday and I was balking and they wanted to know why.  Couldn’t really say “because that’s when I take lessons at my other studio”.  So I agreed to take a slot.

The other reason for hesitation is I wanted some time after Showcase to think about what my next steps are but it seems that we are going to launch forward into prepping for the Big Dance Event.  There is a very small part of me that was feeling like if I got the award for nine routines, it would be a nice closing act.  Either way, I’m still unsure of the future – at either place.

I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations – one can either do this or that.  My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it – you will regret both.

I actually have four possible situations:

  1.  Continue with both studios
  2. Drop the Famous Franchise and continue at Studio B
  3. Drop Studio B and continue at the Famous Franchise.
  4. Drop everything

Number 4 is just something I throw out there for completeness.  I really don’t see myself being able to give up dancing until I run out of money or my knee totally gives out.

Face the facts of being what you are, for that is what changes what you are.

I’m a dancer.  I’m riddled with confidence issues and terribly hard on myself and I set unrealistic goals and then beat myself up for not achieving them.  But I’m a dancer trying to be the best I can be.  I can’t give up until I feel there is nothing left for dance to give (or when it has taken it all from me)

Let’s deal with each studio.

If I’m going to be honest, I can learn more from Mindy at Studio B.  Nothing against Kid T but she doesn’t have the experience.  But, where’s the path if I stay there.  Spending every six months learning one dance to do at each Showcase?  If I gave her more time, we could do more and maybe that could lead to doing a comp.

But, is that what I really want?  Again, if I’m honest, I’m going to say no.  I would be going only for the experience and that doesn’t seem right.  Also, the prep for a comp would likely be much different than the prep for a Showcase and I don’t want to lose what I find magical about dancing.  And I think I would if I turned into a grind to prep for a real comp.  It would become work because I could see myself putting all kinds of pressure on myself (see the unrealistic goal thing above).  At heart, I’m just not that driven.

Our life always expresses the result of our dominant thoughts.

The Famous Franchise gives me the opportunity to dance in front of a larger crowd.  Their Showcases are like a CompLite and that seems to suit me better.  I get to play in the fantasy world of a professional dancer but without the harsh judgements you’d get at a real comp.

But I have to deal with being pushed to the sidelines if I stay.  Again, I’m not going to take anything away from Kid T because she works hard at learning and trying to teach.  It is just the lack of experience.  Like I’ve said before, five minutes with OwnerGuy and he finds things that she misses.  And that’s not a shock because she’s not a guy and doesn’t have the breadth of experience he does.  He knows how to prepare someone to be a competitive dancer.  But the other reality is that, for all the talk of progress checks, the fact is that he’s not going to devote much time to me.  Can I live with that?

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

So what do I enjoy about dancing?  New choreography.  OK, I hate the awkward parts when you are just starting to learn and nothing makes sense and you screw up over and over again.  But when the pieces come together and you finally get a full run with no real issues, there is such a sense of accomplishment.  I get so charged up when it all comes together.  And, then, when it is more polished and you get a chance to do it in front of people and see the reactions.  Yeah, that’s what lights me up.

There is another awkward truth that I’ve mentioned before and that is my comfort level with each instructor.  I’ll freely admit that I’m not the easiest person to get to know.  I’m not going to be able to pinpoint anything concrete because this is all about how it feels to me.  And I’ve also learned the hard way that this is still a business relationship at its core.  You can care about the person but there is always going to be some kind of barrier but that barrier just prevents me from feeling totally comfortable with either of them.

To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily.  Not to dare is to lose oneself.”

At the end of the day, I have two imperfect options to continue something that I know I need to continue.  What I know I need to do is to stop being a passenger and start doing a little more driving.  I think I need to keep moving forward at the Famous Franchise and set a goal of getting through Associate Silver.  I also need to find a way to get over some of my anxiety and give Studio B a real chance.  Maybe find a group class to take or get myself to more parties so the studio starts to feel like home.

Life has its own hidden forces which you can only discover by living.

Be that self which one truly is.

It will start with having actual conversations with Mindy and Kid T about what I want from dancing.  I’m all about the experience associated with dancing but sometimes you need to draw a map.

Don’t forget to love yourself.

Yeah, I’m working on that too.  That’s much harder than the whole dance stuff.

Good night.



One comment

  1. I completely understand where you at–I have just gone through a similar experience. It’s rough and hard, but I am finding it was worth the stress and difficulties to really figure out what it is I want to do with dance, and what works for me.

    I wish you the best of luck!

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