How it Feels vs What They See

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This quote was as close as I could come to what I got out of reading my medal ball comments. With ballroom, I’d have to change the quote to what I feel rather than what I see because I can’t watch myself when I’m out on the floor. Not saying I’m creating great works of art – don’t take the quote too literally. The takeaway is that my perception of something is based on how it feels and that often doesn’t jive with what others see.

It is a lesson I have to keep learning because I tend to rely on my senses and assume that what I feel is reality. And if it feels bad, then it must be bad. That is not always the case.

As a ballroom dancer, I am stronger in the smooth dances. They are just a little more up my alley. Dances like Cha-Cha and Swing require triple steps or, in other words, they require you to move your feet very fast. I love the music and energy of both dances and doing them socially is less of an issue. Probably because I just get lost in the music and the focus is on having fun. Under the watchful eye of a judge, I tend to focus more on when things feel “off” and assume the judge is seeing it all.

And this is why certain comments always catch me off guard. I did reasonably well in all five dances. In line with my expectations. The grades were all close but the I got my highest marks in Rumba and Bolero which I kind of expected and Swing which I totally did not. As I struggled through my Swing on the Friday before Medal Ball, I was making noises about just dropping it after Medal Ball. Now, I may have to rethink that.

That’s not to say that there aren’t things to work on. Part of doing this in front of expert eyes is to get feedback on how to make things better and there are always things that can be done better. Ballroom is all about continuous improvement. But to see positive comments attached to the Swing was a bit of a shock and maybe a pleasant surprise. Guess I’m not as bad as I thought. (Which is typically the case and why I have to stop just relying on how something feels)

I did get a couple of comments on timing and this was not a shock to me. I didn’t come from a musical background but you can be trained to find the beat. I spent a lot of time in the car listening to songs and tapping things out on the steering wheel until it kind of started to come naturally. But there is something about the sound system at the studio that can make it hard for me to pick up the beat. If I can feel it, I can follow it. If not, I can get close but I’m going to get off from time to time. Just the way it is.

On the Bolero, I was told I had a good feel for the dance. I’m not really sure if that is a default thing when they can’t think of anything else and it was close to the end of the night and maybe she was getting tired of observing and writing. Still, I did like that comment. Part of the appeal for me is that each dance tells a different story and it is almost like you get to play a different character with each dance. Its my own little fantasy world so I actually like hearing that I’ve captured the feel of a dance.

And now we push towards Showcase in a couple of weeks.

Again, this isn’t a perfect quote but it gets close to what I wanted to express which is it would be really interesting to see yourself dance through the eyes of another. What do they see and feel that you don’t?

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