As Showcase rolls around, it also means that it is time for the semi-annual studio festival where each party is themed and you earn points by doing things in the studio. Winners get nice prizes but there are consolation gifts for all.
One of the way to get points is to sign up and pay for more lessons and so I know it means that at some point in the next couple of weeks, I’ll get called to the money room to discuss my future. Well it is really to just sign the paper and buy some lessons and work out the payments.
So it gives me an brief window to consider life after dance. There is a part of me that would like to do a mike drop after a Showcase if we have a particularly strong showing. (Like we did at the last one by the way). Kind of a way to finish on top and leave on a high note.
I clearly still enjoy doing this although the Showcase prep lessons where we do all the dances over a double lesson are killers. And the intrinsic motivation means a lot more than any particular dance goals the studio could come up with.
Graduate Silver and go into Gold? Sure, I could do that. But even the Silver steps are like having a high powered car but only being able to drive in city traffic. You get the occasional moments when you can open it up but you spend most of the time stuck behind other traffic or at a light. In case that analogy wasn’t clear, we are always dancing on a crowded floor. That means you end up having to adjust the patterns or add a hesitation or two until you get a clear path. Its not the end of the world but they teach you these patterns that move around the floor and you hardly ever really get to use them. And that’s just the upper Silver stuff. Gold would likely be even worse.
Focus on the bigger events/competitions? That’s what all the other advanced students do. They take lessons during the day where there is a greater chance of a clean floor so you don’t see them at groups or parties. Of course that option would require greater expenditures and it always comes down to a cost/benefit thing to me. Plus, I’ve tried the competitive dancing thing and it really didn’t work for me.
But if I don’t go into Gold and only do the Showcases, then the current patterns we have in all the dances will get stagnant. In fact, some of the smooth ones are. Just running the same patterns over and over again would get boring. So both moving forward and staying in place have serious drawbacks.
And not that this should really factor into the decision but the studio is thriving right now. There must be some kind of Ballroom renaissance going on because I’ve never seen the place so busy. Plus there are a whole crop of newer students who are interested in doing the competitions so they’ve put a nice little team together to do that. I guess the studio is also setting a record for Showcase entries this time around as well. So, if I did decide to walk away, it wouldn’t have a big impact. I know that probably shouldn’t be a factor but it is. There have been lean times in the past where it just wouldn’t have felt right to walk away.
Then there is this whole “inspiration” thing. I don’t mind it when other students tell me that they like watching me dance. It confuses me a bit but then we can’t see what we look like through other eyes. If they like what they see, then that’s a good thing.
But I still cringe a bit when I hear someone talk about how they want to move around the floor like me. I’m not comfortable being put on a pedestal or when some instructor tells me they use me as an example. The other day at formation practice, the people directly behind me on the last part were joking with me that I can’t screw up because they are just following what I do. (They were serious about the following part) It just makes me want to scream that I’m far from perfect since perfection doesn’t exist.
Yes, I understand the quote above and this is something that seems silly to be complaining about. It would also help if I could better explain why it makes me a little uncomfortable. But I’ve found that many times these are just feelings that I can’t really explain. They just are. I accept that it is an honor but that doesn’t make it all good.
The simplest thing to say is that it just creates a different vibe and it isn’t always a good vibe.
I suspect that none of these “issues” is enough to make me stop right now. Its just good to check in every now and then and make sure I still want to continue.