Destination Unknown (Overthinking)

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We seem to have reached that point where the last Showcase has faded from memory and the next one is still a little too far out to be deep in my thoughts. This is the period where I seriously question why I’m continuing to grind forward on all these dances. Its always a question – is the joy I get out of doing something like a Showcase really worth the cost of grinding through lessons doing the same dances over and over again.

Plus, we’ve added Silver VI stuff to most of the dances which means the choreography is finished so the only thing new is trying to incorporate better technique. More shaping and things like that. I tend to stay in the moment when it comes to dance so I don’t often ask myself where all this is going. But, if I think about it, unless I move into Gold, there is very little that is going to change with these patterns. So do I really want to be doing this for however long I decide to continue dancing?

One answer would be to check out of Silver and start doing Gold. But my last lesson brought up another issue with that. The floor was jam packed with people making it very difficult to actually do the smooth patterns. This is a struggle for me because I kind of feel that as the most experienced dancer (and the one leading) that I should be yielding to the newbies. I mean who wants to run someone over? I sure don’t.

So it means that there are just times when I need to stop and wait or some step has to be angled in an entirely different way and you just hope for the best. But then I get told that I need to “own my space”. Do I really want to turn ballroom into a full contact sport? The other problem is that a lot of newbies (and their instructors) are unpredictable. You make a guess on where they are going and suddenly they end up moving where you didn’t expect them to be and you need to sound the collision alarm.

I suppose I could be more aggressive but it just really isn’t me. The possibility of moving to an afternoon when the floor would be less crowded was brought up but I realize that’s a band aid solution. The reality is that you aren’t getting a clean floor even at an event like Showcase or a bigger event. Now, I’ll always maintain it is far easier to navigate when everyone is doing the same dance because things become a bit more predictable. But it still means you are learning all these fancy moves and there are precious few opportunities to actually “stretch your legs” and use them.

Gold would just amplify that problem. Yes, learning the patterns would be fun. I won’t deny that. But the opportunities to actually dance them would be even more limited.

This is a battle I’ve fought in my head many times. Ballroom is something special and so I’ve mostly focused on the journey. It is only when I start thinking about the destination that I have to ask these questions. Does this really need to go anywhere? Would I be OK with just continuing to meander down this road without really thinking about where it ends.

What complicates things this time is that in many dances, I’ve kind of reached the end of the Silver road at least when it comes to learning new steps and patterns. Can I still enjoy the journey if it is just endless repetition of the same steps while trying to work on improving technique? Feels like that road goes more in endless circles.

Well I think I’m to the point of just repeating thoughts. I do this from time to time. I just use this forum to clear some of the clutter from my mind. Too many thoughts bouncing around up there. I’d like to think I can sort them out and create order from the chaos. More often than not, the chaos reigns.

2 comments

  1. This blog is about your dance journey and I realize that. I will say that we too realize that the Silver Smooth patterns are a real challenge at any social dance due to crowd size and also the inevitable mix of skill sets of other couples. So, we gave up on worrying about completing big patterns and we just break it down to the Silver elements as we go, and so it’s almost all real time “who knows what I will lead next, 3 seconds from now?” Turns out, it’s not bad at all – it’s almost all spontaneous dancing and my DW never knows what’s coming next, and that is a different kind of fun for both of us.

    1. That does make more sense in a social situation. I would need to work on that – I’m not the best at spontaneous stuff. But it does sound fun.

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