Over a month ago, I danced in my first competition, albeit reluctantly. Videotaping services were available, and wanting to see myself dancing for evaluative purposes, I ordered a DVD with 7 of my heats recorded on it on it. The vid arrived a week or so ago and when I finally got up the courage to load it into the computer and hit play, I was apalled by my stiff movement, atrocious arm styling and lack of forward poise. When I expressed my dismay at the studio, my instructors, well-accustomed to student whining, calmly assured me that I’m progressing nicely, and am, in fact, right where they expect me to be. I paid them no mind, of course, reasoning that they were just trying to prevent a messy in-studio seppuku and the resulting bad press. Now, however, thanks to a fellow Ballroom blogger (https://againstlineofdance.wordpress.com) who is not only a teacher but a pro competitor, I’ve acquired a more realistic perspective and am feeling much better than I was.
The Against the Line of Dance post that straightened up my attitude is recent and titled On the Dangers of Having a Good Eye. In it, the author addresses her experience with students, such as moi, who while far enough along to be able to tell good dancing from bad (and thus know they suck), are still powerless to improve as rapidly as they’d like. Such students, quoth my savior, absolutely ARE going to get discouraged but must persevere nevertheless… because in all endeavors, mastery comes only with time and a whole lot of effort.
Do check against the line out. It’s irreverent, funny and loaded with Ballroom lore, advice and tips.