I’m feeling a bit motivational today. I know that is typically supposed to be a Monday thing because everyone loves the alliteration but I’m not one who follows all the rules.
Did grab OwnerGuy for a brief chat yesterday before my lesson. Explained some of my dilemmas and questions and we came up with a plan. I’m going to incorporate the new instructor into my dance team. They’ll probably be some overlap between her and JoNY but it gives me an opportunity to get back to dances like Quickstep.
Didn’t get a chance to set up any lessons with the new instructor yet so that will be a task for next week. Plus, I’ll have to think of a name if I’m going to be dancing with her. Saying “new instructor” over and over again is kind of a pain.
Last night was another themed party since the studio is doing their semi-annual festival to get students to do silly things and to sign up for more lessons. The theme was favorite movie or TV show. I don’t really have a favorite but I had costumes I’ve worn before so I just came as the Dread Pirate Roberts. He takes no prisoners as you know.
Before the party, JoNY and I worked on the dances we worked on with the coach just to see if I could duplicate the results. Spoiler alert – pretty much yes. The whole shaping thing is kind of exciting because it moves things more but requires less effort. Even ended up doing some of that in other dances. JoNY has an idea for a Mambo and that could be our next routine. We shall see.
Dance girl was again at the party. This is now what I’m going to call the 8 year old. It isn’t very creative but its the best I could come up with. Turns out Mom decided to bring Dad and her brother and they were all in costume. They ran a special group class for Mom, Dad and the brother just to give them some basic dance stuff. And they stayed for party and even danced a bit.
I ended up dancing a couple of times with Dance Girl. And we got paired up during the relay race game (these themed parties always have games). Our side won – primarily because the first couple on the other side didn’t do things the right way and had to repeat so they were behind from the start and just couldn’t catch up.
There are some challenges dancing with someone who is significantly shorter but we made it work. I have no kids of my own and have no idea what one says to an 8 year old but we talked a little about Showcase. DanceGirl is not shy. At the end of the night, Mom thanks me for dancing with DanceGirl and also tells me that she (DanceGirl) likes dancing with me. I never know what to say to kids but they usually like me.
So I want to get a little big picture here for the rest of this post. I’m big into what makes people tick and that includes me. Sometimes I spend too much time on that but I think we INFP’s are into self discovery. Give me an internet personality quiz and I’m going to jump on it.
Anyway, it makes me wonder where this whole thing about performing came from. The closest I can come is that my older brother was in choir and did some musicals in high school (always in the supporting cast). Mom did some community theater right after she retired and enjoyed it until she got into arguments with the director. Mom was always kind of a closet control freak.
In some ways, I guess I’m still fighting the programming of my youth. I was a smart kid and my parents knew that. I’m not saying they forced me down a path because they didn’t. But I did kind of get pigeonholed as the smart kid who’s good with numbers so I should do something with my brain. Thinking, logic, numbers, learning. It got into my head that I wasn’t creative. I was 100% Mr Spock.
And that perception has been a limiting factor in my growth as a dancer. The logical part that requires specific directions and definitions of “right” vs “wrong” so I don’t do things the “wrong” way. While there is a lot of clear right and wrong in ballroom, there’s a fairly significant amount of grey. Which I couldn’t deal with.
Go back to my lesson before the lesson with the coach where I was asking JoNY about how to shape. Then the coach just tells me to go do it and that’s the approach that finally clicked. I was actually telling OwnerGuy how good that lesson went and he got this kind of shocked look on his face because this coach isn’t all about the X’s and O’s. And, since I’ve been that guy who demanded all the details, I guess he figured I wouldn’t like the more nebulous approach. As it turns out, it was just what I needed to hear.
I do wonder a lot how different my life would have been if I hadn’t been so convinced I was something I’m not. Suppressing a creative side that needed to find its way out. What if I had found ballroom earlier in life? How would things have turned out? We’ll never know and I don’t like playing ‘what if” games that often but I do think about it.
I was talking with another guy at Showcase and were talking about solos. He does them but doesn’t particularly like them. He said he likes that I typically try to wrap some story around the routine and he said he couldn’t do that. And that’s what I thought until I did the first one and it was a like a drug that I wanted more of.
It took a lot to get over the mind prison about me being a dancer because it was so far from my work life. And my first reaction to a lot of stuff is still to put myself back in that cage. It takes a lot to move out of the comfort zone and then actually find that I’m able to do more than I think I can. This coach kind of shook the bars of my mental prison and let something escape. I don’t yet know what it is but I guess we will find out as time goes by.
I wish I had a nice little bow to tie around this but I don’t. There’s just lots of stuff rattling around inside my brain right now. One point is that getting outside of your comfort zone is a good thing. It is scary and hard to do but the rewards are unbelievable. And a second point is that personal growth is a continual journey. There are always things you can learn about yourself. Don’t be defined by what others think and tell you. Be yourself. Break your own mental cages. Oh and have a good weekend!