The Countdown Begins

Tick-tock … tick-tock … tick-tock….the clock is counting down!

As I start to write this, Joyce and I only have one week left until the Augusta Dance Challenge and it is panic time. We are trying to get as much practice in as we can, but as you all know, sometimes it does not work out like you plan. We have two lessons
before next Saturday, one with Megan and one with Val. Somehow I have to get my confidence up. Due to the number of entries, each heat is 75 seconds; you would think that if I go totally brain dead, I should be able to lead Joyce and Megan for that short of a time. That is where confidence comes in; knowing that I have the ability to still look good, even if I forget where in our routine I am.  Whoa, that was easier to type than I expect to actually do. Maybe this confidence will grow as we enter more competitions, but right now, I am not too sure. Megan and Val might disagree, but I think one of my biggest problems is that I want to be perfect. What happens is that if I miss a step, I lose all concentration as I mentally beat myself up over the mistake, no longer thinking about what I am doing. I came across this article at Dance Comp Review,  “The 3 dangers of perfecting your dance moves”. The article is addressing people that compete at the highest level, but I still think that as a bronze level dancer, I can use some of their advice.  Towards the end of the article is this statement –

“A great dancer is not one who dances flawlessly, but rather one who creates the illusion of dancing flawlessly. To create this illusion, you need to become a master at adapting, rather than perfecting.”

The pros at the BDC have all said this to me, whether it is a showcase or a competition, “We make mistakes, we are just better at covering them up”. I have to remember that this Saturday when I make a mistake, not to get a look of panic on my face and most importantly, not to lose my concentration. There have been times while Joyce and I are practicing where I have changed our routine, not on purpose, but because I couldn’t remember what was next. Joyce would comment on it and I would say, “If that happens in competition just go with it, we will be okay.” Again, easier to say during practice, then actually do during in competition.

How did the past week go? Working with Megan, we changed quite a bit of our Rumba routine, replacing new patterns with ones that I already know. We decided that it would be better if I did fewer full bronze patterns well than more, not so well. Now all I have to do is commit it to memory, along with the other five routines, which for this newbie is no easy task. (Note to self: Must remember to thank Megan and Val again for being so patient with me.) Joyce and I are so blessed to have them working with us; they always have smiles on their faces, even while they say “one more time”, for the hundredth time.

At our lesson with Val, we ran through Foxtrot, Tango, Rumba and East Coast Swing. From my perspective, I feel that our weakest dances are the Tango and East Coast Swing. This could be due to Tango is Joyce’s least favorite dance and East Coast Swing is my least favorite. It is interesting as Tango is my favorite and East Coast is becoming Joyce’s favorite. Maybe at some point in time, we will both like the same dance. If really pressed, I would have to answer that the Cha-cha is one dance that both of us feel the most comfortable with. Joyce had Val work on the swing with me as she says that she has a hard time following me in the swing and it is a lead-follow dance (i.e. not pre-set routine). It is a dance that I wonder if I will ever feel comfortable doing.  Val did give me some homework for the swing, and I feel that it is helping. However, I doubt that they will play a song slow enough for me. The beat would have to go like this tri…………ple…………step…………. tri…………ple…………step…………. rock…..step!  Ha-ha! Not how exactly swing music should sound or the East Coast Swing should be danced. It reminded me of the time Joyce was taking piano lessons and played “kum……….………..bay……………..…ah”. She said she could just picture a girl scout troop trying to sing to her playing! Somethings are just not meant to be that slow!

We did get some quality practice time in this week, and I am feeling more comfortable as Saturday is quickly approaching.  We had a three-hour practice session on Friday and two more hours on Saturday. Our plan is to get to the studio every day to practice.  The next time I post will be after the competition. Hopefully, you will check back next week to find out how we did.

Until next time,

Keep Dancing!!


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