A New Road, A Different Light

I’m back after having been away for far too long. Well, I haven’t really been away because I have been lurking in the shadows, keeping up with the goings on in the lives of other kindred spirits in this marvelous community/forum.

There are times in my life when I realize I just have to sit down and have a one-on-one with  myself. An Attitude Adjustment, so to speak. When I need to withdraw into myself and sort things out, try to understand what I’m feeling, try to get a fix on my feelings, and eventually come to some sort of terms with myself.

And the trigger for this particular psychotic episode ?? Gee, it couldn’t possibly be DANCE, could it ??? (serious tongue-in-cheek moment here).  Or, more specifically, The Icon’s foot injury, the consequence of which is that he’s had to forego dancing smooth for the past 4 months.

So why am I acting like such a major drama queen, moaning and groaning about how this has totally wreaked havoc in my universe …. how it’s changed all the rules and turned the playing field upside down, and necessitated my having to make a really tough decision?

Huh? Tough decision? What’s the big deal? It’s simply a matter of deciding if I should just stop dancing until The Icon has healed enough to resume dancing smooth, or accepting the curve ball the Universe has thrown at me and immerse myself in making myself the best rhythm dancer I can possibly be.

So why is this such a struggle? What exactly is it about rhythm that so totally gets my back up?

So hence the tête-à-tête, and my realizing a profound truth: The destination is the same, my goal hasn’t changed, but getting there means going by another road and … (here’s the rub) … seeing myself in a different light.

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Because it suddenly dawned on me that I’m a Smooth Snob. Big Time. When I envision smooth dancers, I see Class. I see Elegance. Ladies with their meticulously styled, upswept hair and breathtaking gowns; the gentlemen in their perfectly tailored jackets, flying around the floor.

Smooth dancing belongs to the Elite. And that’s how I want to be perceived. Not many people dance smooth. But I do. And I do it well. And that makes me different.

Not many people are drawn into the competitive side of dance—most are there for the social aspect; they’re planning to do a wedding dance (or go to a wedding); they want to be able to dance when they go clubbing; they like getting out for a night at a studio party or they want to make a splash at a studio showcase. And in pretty much all instances, their dance(s) of choice are one of the rhythm dances. Hustle, East and West Coast Swing, Salsa, Bachata, maybe a little Cha Cha or Two Step.

And the light dawns. Foregoing smooth and picking up rhythm takes me from being a big fish in a small pond to just another minnow in the tank. I feel diminished. And intimidated. I’m an unbelievable competitive dancer, but have never been comfortable dancing in the social arena.

Ahah! I should be excited – I’ve got a brand new demon to wrestle!!

So anyway, just for the record, I’m dancing all rhythm (including the Closed Silver Scholarship) at New York Dance Festival in a couple of weeks, and looks like I’ll also be doing rhythm at the TriState Challenge in March. And in case you have any doubts about me being a glutton for punishment, I’m tentatively committed to performing my brand spanking new open mambo routine at the Studio’s April showcase.

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And I promise to be back here on a more regular basis rather than off somewhere sulking in a corner!