I am sitting in the Charlotte airport as I write this. I am returning from a quick trip to New Jersey to visit family and I have a three-hour layover. I thought it would be a good use of my time to give an update on how Joyce and I are doing. Joyce and I like to say that we are busier now than when our children were young. Between working and dance, we do not have much down time. We signed the paperwork for the Roanoke Valley Star Ball Dance Challenge. The more of these we do, the less of the, “What were we thinking”, moments I have. We were planning on competing with our pros and with each other in Roanoke. That has changed as we will only be dancing with our professional partners. This decision was strictly for financial reasons. Ballroom competition is not cheap, we had to look at the overall cost and try to get it to a manageable amount. Because of this, Joyce and I do not dance together as much during our lessons. We do attend each other’s lesson and the pros get us together when there is something that we both need to understand. This will help us when we do compete as an amateur couple. While I have been away, Joyce has been busy keeping up with her dance schedule. She attended our technique class. Val likes questions and to ask questions. Joyce was proud that she was able to answer a difficult question. She will not tell me what it was, because I have been told that I will be put on the spot next Tuesday to see if I know the answer. Sometimes I get the feeling that she and Val like to gang up on me. But it is all in fun and there is usually laughter involved at my expense. Joyce also had a private lesson with Val. They worked on preparing for competition. Joyce told me that until the Dance Challenge, they are only working on their competition routines. I rescheduled my lesson with Megan until Friday, where we will be working on our competition routines. We will need to discuss if we are only going to be preparing for the comp, or continue with the plan to alternate between competition and showcase.
I cannot speak for Joyce, but I am feeling comfortable with where my dancing is right now. I am in a better place mentally about the Star Ball Challenge, then I was going into either Ashville or the Augusta Dance Challenge. I do not know how much my dancing has actually improved, but I do think my mental approach to it has improved. I am beginning to accept the fact that I will not be perfect. I only need to make it appear that it is. I think there are a couple of factors that have helped me with this. When Joyce and I practice, we have been able to stop and help each other through trouble stops. This has helped me think about my dancing more. The second reason is when Megan and I started to work on the showcase routine, I think that I am picking it up faster than in the past. Things just seem to be coming together for me. I also think that the more Joyce dances with Val, the more she realizes what I need to know. She has a better understanding of how the leader and the follower play different roles in a dance couple. As she becomes a better follower, it has required me to be a better leader. As Val says, the follower lives in the present, the leader lives in the future. The more Joyce understand this, the better feedback she can give to me. I cannot explain why, but I feel that Joyce and I will make a major breakthrough in the next year.
I am looking forward to going to the Dance Center for the annual Halloween Ball this Friday. The one part of dance that Joyce and I do not spend enough time on is our social dancing. We have been talking about this and have realized that it is a chicken and egg thing. We have spent much of the last two years, learning routines for competition and the showcases, that I haven’t learned how to randomly put elements together. Because of this, we get frustrated at social dancing, so we do not do it very often. In order for me to be a better competition dancer, I need to know how to dance around people. I need to social dance to acquire that skill. We will never get better at it unless we do it more. This leads us to the chicken or egg debate. Joyce and I are going as Curious George and the man in the yellow hat. Joyce will be Curious George. Joyce wanted to go as Sonny and Cher with me being Cher. That was vetoed very quickly.
That sums up where we are in our dance journey.
If anyone is going to the Roanoke Valley Star Ball Dance Challenge, please stop by and say hello to Joyce and I. We would be like to meet you.
Until next time, keep dancing.