Ballroom is Powerful Stuff

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The sun is not shining today and there is more rain in the forecast. We also had the sprinkler system shut down which is another sign of the end of summer and the approach of winter. Still, I don’t feel as doomy and gloomy as I did yesterday. The lesson helped. I’m pretty sure ballroom dancing just feeds my system with a bunch of happy chemicals.

Yesterday was a hard practice. Learning the choreography is one thing. Putting it all together is another story. It is about getting it to timing meaning you can’t stop and think about what comes next. It is about smoothing over the rough spots and hitting those time after time to make sure your body understands what to do.

There were spots where it felt like we should just take a pause. I mean you work to hit a pose and it feels like you should hang out there for a bit but that is why we kept getting behind. OwnerGuy was all about how we had to get in and then get right back out to stay with the music. He did call this an athletic tango and my legs can attest to that this morning.

I have done so many routines with so many different instructors in my life that my body sometimes gets its signals crossed and I pull something from the past. There’s a part where I’m supposed to bring my partner across my body to a hinge. I think OwnerGuy did it in frame but I just naturally expanded to more of an arm hold because that’s how I did it previously. He pointed it out last night and decided to keep it because he liked the look of it. Makes sense because I take up a lot of space and my new instructor does not so this way people can actually see her.

I think at this point, I’m going to give her a name. Her blog name shall be PJ or pj if I get lazy and don’t want to use the shift key. Why PJ? Why not? (Subtle movie reference there)

During our practice, I did notice one of the newer dancers taking time from her lesson to watch us. I’m generally so focused on trying to keep my head where it belongs that I don’t scan the room so I just caught it when we were headed in that direction.

After the lesson, she and another student were sitting in the reception area just chatting before they left for the night. She mentioned that OwnerGuy kind of told her to get back to her lesson but she talked about how much she loved watching me dance. Might even have used the phrase that I was beautiful to watch. Guess she is looking forward to Showcase to see the finished production.

This is something I’ve had to learn over my dance career. I mean I felt like most of the runs were rushed and kind of messy. In the past, I would have pointed out all the places where I messed up. Kind of a way to deflect the comment because I certainly wasn’t worthy of it. So the big lesson is to just say a simple “thank you” or “that’s nice of you to say”.

Yes, comments like that can run straight to the ego and I try to keep that in check but this is kind of what I was hinting at with my title. I’m not going to get into a long discussion so I’ll just sum it up by saying I’ve not been a fountain of self-confidence in my life when it comes to doing physical stuff. I mean I’ve never thought I was much to look at and that my only real value was my brain.

So it is not just ego talking when I say how much comments like that impact me. Spend a lot of time thinking you can’t do something and it takes a long time to unwind those thoughts. Which is why when someone makes a comment like that it feels both good and strange at the same time. Like a part of me says “are you really talking about me?”

And I know that I’m not as hard on myself as I used to be. I don’t get into a lot of those “you suck” places like I used to. Certainly ballroom has given me a level of confidence I didn’t have before which has carried over outside the studio. I suppose this is one race where you never really reach the finish line but we can keep leaving those negative thoughts further and further behind. Like I said, ballroom is powerful stuff.

You will never know if you can do something if you are too afraid to try!

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