In My Head

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So I did a post like this but it got hung up being uploaded so it appears to have vanished into some Bermuda triangle since I don’t see it in drafts or as an actual post.  Guess I get to try again.  If something magically pops up on the site that looks similar to this, you’ll know why.

Something struck me on the way home from my lesson last night.  I’ve realized that I’ve become super critical – while I’m dancing.  It is like I have this running news ticker in my head that just keeps going through various thoughts on technique:

  • Is your posture OK?
  • Is your head back?
  • Should you be looking in a different direction?
  • Are you arms just dangling lifelessly at your sides?
  • Did you really do a full weight change there or did you cheat?
  • Are you getting any kind of hip action/cuban motion?

So, naturally, whenever something doesn’t feel “perfect” (and when does something ever really fell perfect?), then I’ve got all these built in reasons why.  And when Kid T asks why I think something felt awful, I don’t have a good answer because all of these various options have been floating through my head and I can’t pick just one.  OK, it is also probably because there really isn’t anything wrong and more likely that I’ve just psyched myself out just a little bit.

And then it sets up a lose/lose proposition because I desperately want validation but I automatically reject any attempts because it doesn’t reconcile with my inner feelings of how I did.  Case in point, last night we were doing our open swing and Kid T tells me that I was “terrific”.  (Side note – I think she is attempting to amp up her positive comments in an attempt to shake me out of my self-imposed funk)  I believe my response was “I don’t do anything terrific” or words to that effect.

To be honest, some of this happens at Studio B as well.  It is more common in the Salsa which is not a dance I do.  I can keep thinking of how loose and free Salsa is supposed to be and how I’m probably so tight that I look like a guy pretending to do Salsa.  It happens a little less at Studio B because my main focus is on learning the choreography and that keeps my mind occupied most of the time.

But, back at the Famous Franchise, we are doing routines I’ve done many times.  So the choreography is a little more ingrained which leaves my mind free to think about all the other things and, of course, I end up thinking about how badly I’m doing all of them.

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know I’m not the world’s most confident person when it comes to my dance abilities.  And, staring at a computer screen, far away from the dance floor, I can be totally rational and totally get how self-destructive this is.  All of those little comments that I go through just pick away at my confidence piece by piece.  To where I’m now kind of in a real valley when it comes to confidence.  In the past, Showcases have given me a significant boost.  This year, they haven’t.  Oh, they were both fun and I had a good time at both.  But, the temporary ego boost was very short lived.

And, no, this is not new territory.  Maybe that running checklist of doubt is a new thing or a new manifestation because it felt new.  But I have to find a way to give Kid T an abridged version of this story because I know she’s trying to help but there is little she can do.  Dancer heal thyself.

So, just to end things, there was a bit of strangeness at group last night.  We had one lady and four men.  Kid T was teaching which added another lady but it still wasn’t enough so Z had to jump in.  Don’t worry, dancing with her was much less awkward than I expected.  But it did mean that on every rotation one person was sitting out.  At one point, I was dancing with her and Tex was the odd man out.  Since she was facing him, she had a good look at him and she tells me that he’s staring at it and looking jealous.  Sometimes, she just says stuff like this.  Not sure if she really meant anything but I had to over analyze it a bit – well really just to try and think of some reason why he would be jealous.  Since I couldn’t come up with anything, I came to the conclusion that since she had called him out earlier in the class that he was looking at me to see if I was doing the same thing he got called out for.

Well that’s all I’ve got right now.


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