Enthusiasm Gap

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I decided to go to another group class last night before my lesson. There were a couple of reasons. First, and I can’t stress this enough, you need repetition for stuff to sink in. It doesn’t matter if I’ve done the particular step hundreds of times, more reps are a good thing. Plus, even if you know the step, there are always other things (posture, frame, etc) to be worked on.

Secondly, leading is another thing that requires practice and there is nothing better than a big group class for that. Every partner is going to feel different and everyone is going to respond differently. And if you introduce different heights – last night ranged from a lady who was probably ten inches shorter than me to a young lady who was actually taller than me – then there is an extra benefit of having to deal with that while trying to keep a strong frame.

There is also the attempt to try and be part of the studio and not some mythical figure that people only see on lessons or events. I seriously doubt that I’m going to form the type of relationships I had with my other dance crew. Like I’ve said before, it is the shared experiences that tend to be bonding moments and I can see that happening with this group.

And the last reason is the title of this post. I am currently dealing with a real lack of enthusiasm and passion which makes the lessons harder. Figured one way to relight the fire is to be around those who still possess the fire and hope it might spread to me.

In the bad old days when I had a serious misfit with my instructor, driving to a lesson felt more like driving to a dental appointment. Something you had to do but you knew it wasn’t going to be all that much fun. I should have listened to my body back then and figured out an alternative plan earlier. Not saying it has reached that level but there is still a part of me that kind of feels like I have to be dragged away from what I’m doing to go to a lesson.

There are always ups and downs when learning ballroom. It isn’t easy. There are times of frustration when things just aren’t going right. There are those moments of deer in the headlights when seeing a new step for the first time and wondering just how in the heck you are supposed to do that. There is the grind of doing the same thing over and over again because you need reps. There’s good stuff too but the point is that it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.

What makes you keep going through the not so fun stuff is a combination of things. For those who are strongly goal oriented, you can deal with it because it supports meeting your goals. For me, even during the dark days, ballroom was something I couldn’t get enough of. The light dims but never goes out and the passion and enthusiasm keeps you coming back.

And that’s why this is a big problem. When the studio shut down last year, I couldn’t wait for the reopening. The goals of getting to medal ball (less important) and showcase (more important) and my general feeling about being back doing something I love kept me going for several months.

Now, I guess I’ve just started to take a critical look at where I am. Judging progress is ballroom is an imperfect science. OK, it is more like a guess. Yes, they offer the levels and you can look at steps and things like that but being able to awkwardly dance a step doesn’t really fill me with great joy.

And part of the problem is that much of what I’m doing is stuff I was doing before the studio shut down. That leaves me with my imperfect memory of how things felt then vs how they feel now. I know this is not the best measure but it is all I’ve got.

So it just makes me feel like I’ve been back for almost a year with just a little progress for the effort. It really this feeling of stagnation that is bringing me down. And when I keep stumbling over the same things, it reinforces that feeling.

A couple of lessons ago, PJ was trying to get into my head. She said something like she can’t fix it if she doesn’t know what is wrong. That is certainly true but this is really just something I need to work through.

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