Monthly Archives: September 2013

Ballroom Dancing Man | Leading By Example

Something pretty remarkable has happened with my dancing.

A little back story first.

I have been so freaked out by remembering routines, flubbing up technique, and just generally needing to become a better dancer that I have made it a point to go into the dance studio when classes/lessons aren’t in session and using the space for practicing. I have also bumped up my private lessons and group lesson attendance. All of this extra effort has caused me to gain a reputation around the studio as that dedicated student. It also has made me a better dancer, apparently. I know this because there is one student that has started to look up to me as an example of how to get better as a male dancer.

“What?!?”

This is pretty amazing. This person in question has the same dance instructor as me and she told me that my progress is causing him to work harder/try harder. If you are an avid reader of this blog, you will know that this is definitely a milestone for me. It’s also a crazy responsibility. I’ve made a point to take this guy under my wing, impart whatever knowledge I have, and generally give him as much support as I can offer.

An interesting side effect is also that I am now trying harder because of all this. Effectively, I don’t want to prove him wrong. I want him to continue to look to me as a model and example of what progress looks like. So I think that the two of us are going to work off of each other and just get better in the process.

I’ve said it before, but the social dynamics of ballroom dance is deep and complex. This is a new wrinkle in that dynamic. I am no longer the newbie that is just trying to get my steps right to music, but I am now an intermediate level dancer that is not only getting the attention of female dancers, but also new male dancers as well. This is all unfolding as I prepare for my next competition in October.

Let’s see the impact it makes…

Ballroom Dancing Man | What a summer!

So I guess I took the summer off from posting, but I am now back in full force. The past 3 months have seen amazing growth in my dancing. In that time, I have solidly positioned myself as one of the better male dancers in the studio. I know. If you’ve been following this blog at all, you will know that my dancing is riddled with anxiety and baggage from my past. There’s something about competing (and having a rock star solid instructor) that moves you past the anxiety and into a place of pride and conviction.

Over the summer, I participated in a friendly competition with another studio. Now, I’ve done this before, but I was only competing with my wife. There’s a comfort with that. Even though you are more exposed by dancing with a fellow amateur, there also isn’t the perceived judgment. I say perceived because after going through the experience, not only was there no expressed judgment, but going through something like that makes your dance relationship much stronger.
So I dance the majors (Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Rumba, Cha Cha, and Swing) twice (once with my wife and once with my instructor). Then I danced a West Coast Swing and a Salsa with my instructor. Those last 2 I had never danced before.

So the last time I finished one of these Team Matches as they call them, I was energized. I told my instructor my ambition of wanting to be the best male dancer in the studio. This time around, I was even more energized. I told my instructor that in addition to those goals, I see a long exciting dance future with her whatever shape that takes. I think she was excited about that. I know I am. I guess at this point all this crazy stuff is becoming a true passion of mine. Crazy.
So, yes, what a summer! We’re preparing for a new Showcase in October so stay tuned for those updates.