Competition Ramblings

 

Wow – time flies when you are too busy to think.   A lot has happened since my last post.   More specifically to this blog, in addition to navigating Thanksgiving and some international travel, I participated in my annual regional ballroom competition.

 

This particular competition was a roller coaster of emotions – and trying to maintain focus. I did better than I expected in some dances and was disappointed in a couple of others. And for some dances – while I had hoped to do better than I did, I had realistically figured how I would place, given all the “new” aspects of this competition.   I had a new, fabulous partner for my American smooth dances, I had new patterns and figures in our routines and I competed at a higher level.   And I changed the number of entries per dance.

 

The best part of the competition for me – clarifying who I am as a dancer. I learned what worked and what I need to work on.   For example, my strategy for fewer heats per dance doesn’t work for me – next year it’s back to at least 3 heats per dance.

 

I watched other competitors – especially during the International Standard and the American Rhythm heats. I listened to the music and re-affirmed what music I feel in my body…and what leaves me a bit cold.   I watched with an eye to imagining myself dancing to the music of many different dances – much easier for some, couldn’t care less for others.

 

I left this competition with clear goals around which dances I want to continue to learn and expand, which new dances I want to learn.   I identified which dances to eliminate as well – ones I enjoy for fun as social parties, but not interested in learning the technique minutia required for effective competition.

 

Upon further reflection, I also identified other goals for enhancing my dancing beyond learning new technique.   As one very wise person put it, “sometimes you need to let the technique go and just perform.”   2017 will be the year that I actually spend some time focusing on performance and artistic expression.  I am also blessed with a fabulous instructor/coach who is not only collaborative but also understands how to best facilitate my personal dance journey.

 

All in all, this competition was a wonderful experience as I gave myself permission to honor what feeds my soul.