Ballroom Dancing into 2022

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After a week off, dancing started up again this week and I’ve had my first two lessons for 2022. Which means I’m waking up today realizing which muscles weren’t being used last week. One comment that gets made a lot in regards to football players is that nobody is 100% at the end of the season. Not really comparing amateur ballroom to football but I kind of feel like the same concept applies. Except we don’t really have an off season.

First thing that happened on the lesson was that PJ brought out the calendar of events for the year just so we could start thinking about goals and plans for what we want to do. OwnerGuy came out a little later to also start me thinking about the process. What do I really want to get out of this year and all that.

One of the things he’s pushing a little harder than usual is the concept of getting back into the bigger dance events – the competitions in the Famous Franchise world.

In my head right now, there are three main reasons to not do this.

Yes, I do this in part because of the challenge and the growth but I’ve also come to realize that it has to be fun or none of the other stuff is really worth it. I also know I’ve got this perfectionist thing that rears its head from time to time. I know that part of the reason some of the past events weren’t pleasant is I got too wrapped up in the competition aspect and put too much pressure on myself leading up to the event. Its not a good place to be because it sucks all the fun out of ballroom. There is a part of me that just doesn’t trust that I won’t end up back there.

Second is the cost. If it were just my money, I might feel differently but this is a hobby I do without my spouse and there is just a part of me that says I shouldn’t be spending a boatload of our money on something that is just for me. I don’t know what the current figures are but past experience says that these events can be 8-10x more than a Showcase. The sticker shock is real and hard to justify.

The third is what you get out of it. I’ve learned how to use the comments from a Showcase as a way of gauging growth and I get a lot of value out of that. With the big dance event, you get a lot of colored things indicating where you placed in whatever you do. But it comes without a lot of context because you really can’t assess your competition all that well. Does not placing well mean you are a bad dancer or is it just you were up against people who were willing and able to invest significantly more time and money into the event? In other words, I don’t know that the placements really translate into a good measure of your ability.

OK, there’s a fourth reason and it is my history. I’ve had some really bad experiences with these things and much of that was the relationship dynamic when I was doing these with Z. The last one I did with Kid T was more fun because we had a larger crowd and I felt more relaxed doing it. That would be a potential reason to go because the studio now has more people interested in doing these things so having a crew there is better than being the only student from a studio.

The other reason to go is just for the experience. Showcases are one thing but these are on another level. A dance competition is its own little world and it is fun to visit that world.

Will I do it? Right now, the magic 8 ball would say “Signs point to no”.

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