Practice Makes Better

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Someone used this quote the other day and it kind of stuck with me. I do get in those moods where the inner perfectionist takes over and finds ways to pick apart anything I’ve done. It is silly because perfect is an unobtainable goal so reaching for it is just a losing proposition right from the start.

With Showcase coming up, this concept is even more important. You hope for the best but stuff happens on a crowded dance floor. Dance enough heats and it becomes almost a certainty that something will go wrong in one of them. If you expect all heats to go perfectly, then you will always be disappointed.

The instructor leading group class on Tuesday took a few moments to give us some etiquette lessons for Showcase. All about how to lead your partner on the floor and then invite them in. And then to escort them off the floor rather than just a high five and running away. It is all about the image and it works most of the time. Except when the event falls behind and your instructor partner is already on the floor for the previous heat and you almost have to run out to get her because they want to start the next heat right away.

Don’t really know what being on Mars is like but this quote resonates as well. I’m pretty sure that was part of the draw when I started because it did light up parts of me that my “normal” life didn’t. I still find some of the contrasts unusual. I mean where else do you get dressed up in fancy stuff and then go out and sweat in them because you are doing something incredibly physical. Always seems weird to me. Probably the only other example is figure skating but at least there you are on ice. I do find it hard to feel the glitz and glamour after doing a couple of Viennese Waltzes.

The last couple of lessons have gone well and I’m going to think coffee for that. I’m much more of a morning person and I think I was starting to fade a bit in the evening which just made it easier to get down. I’ve been giving myself a little iced coffee right before I go and the pick me up seems to help. Genetically, I’m someone who can process caffeine really well so it doesn’t keep me up. The aches and pains do but not the coffee.

I listen to some of the newer students talk about Showcase and it just makes me feel like the aged veteran that I am. They talk about how they don’t feel ready and want more time and all the things that we all say. Want to tell them that you’ll probably never feel ready. There is always some part of the mind that things you need more time to prep and that there is likely always going to be a step or two that doesn’t feel quite right. All you can really do is dance the best you can and just try to enjoy the experience because any dance event is just a whole different world.

For me, part of my mind is on what comes next. Ballroom is a serious commitment of time and money. The patterns get more complicated. Getting some of the technique down requires using more and different muscles. Its a physical thing and it does tax your body. Do I really want to sign up for more of the grind to get to the next Showcase which is the payoff? No, it isn’t all bad. When you finally get to dance something and it works, it is fun and there is always that sense of accomplishment when you can see what you can do. Just a lot of hard work and effort to get there.

But, as someone said, if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. Then again, it does get old having to work on the same things over and over again because your body can’t see to figure out what to do. Guess we’ll just see how Showcase goes and use the critiques to figure out what my next steps should be.

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