Dance Goals Revisited

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I guess they are trying something new at the studio. Before our lesson, we sat down to talk about what we wanted to get out of the lesson. And then I got asked the question about long term goals.

Goals work for some things and for some people. I know they kind of like to talk about it at the studio because the thought is you need something to work towards. Also, it gives them some idea of how to focus the lessons. If you want to get to this level by this time, then it probably makes the planning a little easier.

I’m no stranger to goals. Work in the corporate world for any length of time – especially in a position with a bonus attached to it – and you’ll go through the process of goal setting. Found it a little easier in the corporate world since it could be about project and timelines and delivery of certain things. Ballroom is a bit more nebulous for me.

Certainly, there is always the default of talking about the next level. I’m in the highest Silver level so Gold would be the next logical step. And it is certainly attainable as a good SMART goal should be. But the levels don’t really inspire me all that much. Other than the opportunity to start working on some new stuff, there isn’t really a driving need to keep moving forward.

Part of that is because the studio isn’t going to hold you back. If you, as the paying customer, decide you want to be in Silver, then they will make it happen. Not trying to be mean but I’ve seen some of the dancers who’ve made Silver. Can they do the steps? Yeah, or at least something that is close to it. But can they really move around the floor and dance like a Silver level dancer? Most yes but not all. It kind of takes a lot of the meaning of the various metal levels – at least for me.

Then there can always be goals about going to bigger and better events. Showcasing my talents to a wider audience. Problem is that doesn’t do much for me either. I’ve learned over the years that I’m just not that competitive when it comes to dancing.

In these bigger events, you do get placements on heats so each one is sort of like a competition but they aren’t like the actual competitions which also happen there. So you could go and just do heats and see what happens. But that also doesn’t do a whole lot for me. I’ve got plaques with shiny, colored disks representing various placements but they don’t really mean anything to me.

Yes, I could take one of the routines and do it in front of a much larger audience. Is it more of a challenge? Maybe but it doesn’t really feel like one at this point. So the two most obvious types of goals simply don’t excite me.

I dance because of how it makes me feel. I want to do Showcases because it is an opportunity to scratch that performance itch that I never knew I had. If I were going to put a goal down, it is simply to continue to learn and grown and become the best dancer that I can be.

And those are nice sounding words but, to revert back to my corporate jargon, it is hardly measurable.

There are a few things I could probably come up with to put a little more detail around it but it is always going to be a fuzzy goal.

We started our lesson with a Fox Trot and there was another student just coming off group class and he stuck around to watch us dance. At the end, he was talking about how we were flying around the floor. And, while I do like the validation, I’m really doing this more because of how it feels and not because people say nice things about how I dance.

In some ways, this is the whole journey/destination conversation where the goal is some destination I’m supposed to reach. But right now, I’m kind of like a leaf being carried by the wind. I’m just enjoying the ride and not really concerned about where I’m going to land. Is that a goal?

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