Why We Do It

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There was a couple on their lesson last night. They were a wedding couple who have stuck around although they aren’t what you’d call regulars. It seems like they were getting ready for Showcase and there are storm clouds on the horizon. She’s definitely wanting to do it. He’s not. It was pretty clear from body language and statements and the like. She’s clearly more comfortable with it and was relaxed on the lesson. He was in near freak out mode trying to go over every last detail on the dances they were doing. Oh and she’s doing the formation and he’s not.

New girl is giving them all the particulars and she at one point stops to ask me what you get out of Showcase. She’s thinking I’ll have some standard quick reply to provide that last little bit of convincing. Unfortunately, she did the worst thing you can do to an introvert – ask for their opinion and expect a quick response. We just aren’t wired that way. Plus, I just like getting out there and showing off but I also know that isn’t for everyone.

But it does raise a good question. Why would you put yourself through this stress. I suppose some people don’t ever get stressed out about it. I still do. On a lesson, you can generally stop and do a part over again. Get to Showcase and that doesn’t happen. Someone cuts in front of you and gets to the spot you were trying to get and you have to adapt. Plus there are those pesky judges looking at you and making notes. What are they thinking? Did I just screw something up? Yeah, its a lot to deal with. And, let’s be honest, a lot of us are far less confident in our dancing ability than we should be and there’s that whole “I’m going to look stupid in front of a whole room of people” thing.

I’m a strong advocate that everyone should do an event like this once. There is no real good way to describe what it feels like except that it is miles removed from dancing in the safety of a dance studio. And then there’s this:

You don’t take dance lessons to learn to dance in a studio.

There’s also this

Yes, in a Showcase, you aren’t going to “win” anything. To a non-dancer, it will probably seem like a silly waste of time. Why get all dressed up and spend a Sunday in a hotel ballroom putting yourself under pressure.

Because when you get to the end of the day, you will know you’ve accomplished something. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve danced or really even how well you’ve danced. They always have this joke at the start of the day that if you found the ballroom, you’ve already won. And there’s truth in that. But it is very hard to describe what it feels like to get to the end of the event and look back at what you did. All I can say is its a pretty darn good feeling.

Now for me, I’ve become all about the showing off. Showcase is kind of an immersive experience for me. I’ve said before that each dance has its own feel and character and you can take on so many different parts over the day. And that’s not even counting the solo routines where you can overact a bit. Not everyone is going to get that but I pretty much guarantee everyone will get something. At the end of the day, it may not be your cup of tea. But you never know until you try.

Yes, having people eye you with pencils in hand is a bit unnerving but they are trying to help you improve your dancing.

Are you going to mess up a heat or two? It is almost certain that you will. Things happen in the heat of the moment. Does it matter? Only to you. I mean the judges and the audience don’t know your patterns. They have no idea what you were supposed to do. Smile and keep going and nobody will be any wiser.

Is it chaotic with all the people on the floor. Oh yes, it can be. But I don’t think its any different than a crowded dance floor at a wedding or another event. Learning to dance in a crowd is a good thing.

Will you run into someone? Yeah, there’s a good chance that will happen. At the very least some near collisions. Ever seen a pro competition? Happens there as well. Put that many bodies on a floor and it is just likely that they’ll be a little accidental bumping. Again, don’t worry about it and just keep going.

All of the things you fear will seem silly when you get to the end of the day. I know that’s hard to believe but it is true.

Anyway, I couldn’t have come up with all that last night but I had to say something.

We did two hard lessons last night. Ran through all the smooth and rhythm dances. Am I happy with everything? No. But then I never am and I’m certainly the worst judge of my own talents. I’m as ready as I’m going to get.

Tonight everyone gets a chance to practice their routines at the studio party. I did a workout today but I’m planning on resting a bit Friday and Saturday. Probably just some stretching and things to stay loose but you don’t want things to be sore going into a Showcase.

And that’s where I’ll leave it for today.

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