Dance Journey Crossroads?!?

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I could go east. I could go west. It was all up to me to decide.

I had a strange lesson last night. Maybe it was the fact that I have to leave today to take care of some more business associated with my parent’s estate. Maybe it was just me feeling the various aches and pains a little more than usual. But my enthusiasm level was way down. Felt more like going through the motions as we did all of the various dances.

It might have just been a bad day but I’m finding that I’m having more of these moments lately. I did sign up for more lessons right before Showcase because that’s just what I do. And Showcase was great. It was fun and it was just nice to get out and dance somewhere besides the studio. Normally, the Showcase high lasts a little longer or maybe this is just some kind of expected down turn since the last couple of weeks were filled with a lot of emotional things. And maybe my tank is just a little empty right now.

Tis true, which is why it bothers me to not feel it.

Did finally get the marks for the three routines last night. Interesting scoring by these judges. They seemed to like to use multiples of five as everything was either a 20 or a 25 in the four categories they use. I heard they were tougher than normal as most judges use the entire scale. If I try to translate to Dancing with the Stars, I’d guess the scores equate to 8’s and 9s which is consistent with where I’ve been previously. (Unlike the TV show, they rarely give out 10’s – always leave you something to work towards)

I got my lowest marks on technical skills and my highest marks on poise and showmanship. At least I think that is true from my first glance at them. I didn’t get a chance to really digest the marks though. There were comments about lead/follow and one judge liked our interpretation of the Rumba (?!?). The last comment on the Tango was about me being a good performer.

Again, this is not new to me. And it is why I really not that interested in true competition. I know my limitations. The judges aren’t going to care that my knees ache – they are only going to see what I can’t do. While I might be able to create the illusion of things, I don’t think I’m ever going to be the best technical dancer. What I do well is move and entertain. People enjoy watching what I do.

After Showcase, we do reflect on what went well and what could be worked on and sketch out a path forward to the next event and we are doing that right now. And part of me is conflicted. As much as I love dances like Cha-Cha, Swing and Mambo, they really don’t play to my strengths. Should probably toss Bolero in there as well.

Does it make sense to try and continue with all the dances I’m doing or do I sharpen my focus and just go with the stronger ones? And maybe toss in a few others for fun? I could always just keep all those dances and accept the limitations and just do them more for fun than for marks and feedback. Do I shift focus more to the routines and try to amp up the performance because that’s what I seem to do well?

And I know part of the problem is that my goals are fuzzy and ill defined. I keep doing this because of how it feels when you hit something right and also because it does give me these opportunities to step way outside my normal life and dance for a crowd. Who knew that would be something that I’d be totally into.

To be honest, I’ve even had a few thoughts about walking away. Showcase was that “welcome back” moment and really the first time dancing has felt “normal” since the whole pandemic thing. But it has now faded rather quickly and I’m back to looking at a studio of people I don’t know. Faces I recognize but names I don’t. Most of my old crowd still takes lessons at off times and they are all working towards the next competition which isn’t in my plans. Sometimes I just wonder how long I should be keeping this up. Funny to have these thoughts after I just signed up for a bunch more lessons.

In the end, I do need to figure a few things out. I think this mini break comes at a good time. PJ was pushing me to get in for more lessons next week to make up for this week. She’s the first one who has really done this and I’m not really a fan. Part of my dance journey had to be balance.

So I’ll just go deal with what I have to deal with and then try to determine what is the right path for me.

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