Like a dog you’ve left all day at home, blogs are nice because they will also be there when you come back to them, after being neglected, ready to do your bidding and welcoming you with open arms. Well, I don’t know that my blog particularly cares if I write on it or not, at least not in the jumping up and down, whiney, excited way my puppies do when I come home from work, but I’ll take it. I will say that the blog has been beckoning to me in quiet moments in a low whisper calling me to return. And return I have, at least for this much belated post.
So what’s been going on? Mainly I injured my hip during the second heat of the Galaxy Competition and the proceeded to dance on it as hard as I could using ibuprofen and will power to make it through. I mean, my family was there, and I wasn’t about to let a little pain get in my way. I figured I’d have to rest it a bit after the competition, but I was thinking a few days or a week at the most, but the truth is, it is still not 100%. It has gotten better, and I’m no longer limping like I was, and I’ve committed to stretching and warming up prior to dancing in the future, both on lessons and during a competition. You know, sometimes gaining a little wisdom is a costly process.
In any case, this has prevented me from dancing a lot. Combined with Ivan going to Hawaii for a week, I’ve gained some weight back (5 pounds) and I haven’t been to Inna’s class in 3 weeks. I’m actually really itching to get back in the gym in the mornings to do cardio and get back on target with my health goals. But then two days ago, I began experiencing some weird dizziness/vertigo symptoms. They have persisted for two days, today being the third day. I had a lesson yesterday, my first one back in a while, and had intended to do a double but ended up only doing a single because I was dizzy and it’s hard to dance when you feel light-headed.
So that’s all kind of bummer news, I suppose. But I have faith that I will soon recover fully and will get back on target.
In good news, I was able to get enough physical therapy and take enough ibuprofen to show up for a coaching session with Ron Montez after the competition which was beneficial because he was one of judges at Galaxy and had seen me dancing all weekend. He had extremely valuable feedback for me and I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to work with him. He is such a master! He knows these little tweaks in body position or direction that make all the difference. I will have to practice what he mentioned but it instantly improved the quality of my technique and I made sure to write down all the pointers right after the session because I knew I wouldn’t remember everything if I didn’t, especially knowing that I would probably not be dancing for a while to get it into my muscle memory because my hip was injured.
And looking to the future, I’m considering a competition in February. This would give me time to recover, lose some more weight, and most importantly, work on some open routines in Cha Cha and Samba. This is a development I’m excited about. Ivan and I have been dancing for a little over a year now and this entire time we really focused on Bronze level syllabus steps. This made me feel extremely comfortable with the steps and allowed me to perform more, relax, and enjoy my experience at Galaxy. But, I can’t lie, doing the same routines over and over and over, though beneficial in some ways, can become stagnant in others. So to go to the next level, we will be working on silver level moves and open routines in two of my strongest dances. I’m excited.
And yesterday, even with all the hip problems and vertigo, we did work a little on finding some steps for an open Cha Cha routine. Ivan’s process is pretty funny. He sees something in his head, doesn’t bother to explain it or show it to me, then just tries to have us dance it, and for about 80% of the time I have no idea what he is envisioning. But one thing that comes from this is creativity and spontaneity. For instance, Ivan did this one move and I was like, “Oh, I really like that.” And then I just did the next move that seemed right to me and he and I both loved it. In fact, he got goosebumps! It isn’t planned, it comes from playing around, and hitting on something that works and then building upon that. We decided that this was our particular move, that we should like trademark it or something (ha ha). But the thing that was fun and exciting about it, although simple, is that it is not what is typically expected. I van demonstrated 3 or 4 movements that typically follow the move, the ones you’d expect to see, but we were writing our own story, and it felt very fun and cheeky and good.
So, anyways, I’m still alive and kicking. It seemed like a good post title, especially in light of Halloween being right around the corner. And hopefully I will have more to write about my dancing adventures in the near future.
Until then, Stef
I’m happy that you’re okay. General soreness/pain really sucks. Get better soon! 🙂
Aw, hope the hip is ship shape some time soon! Never fun to have an injury. On the upside, I am excited to hear that you are working on open routines!
After feeling like I was getting nowhere practicing my same bronze routines over and over again, I started to get pretty down on latin. To spice things up, I went to another teacher to work on cha cha and samba open routines once a week and it really helped to get me interested and excited again. Sure, I’m still working on my bronze routines (at my studio, it seems that you don’t get to proceed to silver until you win usdc bronze scholarship!?!), but it’s important to keep things interesting and to know what we’re working towards 🙂
Hey Paragon, thanks for the nudge today. I agree, having a little variety is a good thing to keep interest and to keep moving forward toward what we want to become. How weird about your studio restricting movement to Silver level. I have no idea how people generally progress as I’ve never been a part of a formal studio. For some studios I’ve heard that you learn the broze syllabus steps and then test out of them to progress to the next level, kind of like how they do it in karate to get a new belt. Also, it seems kind of arbitrary to me that instructors just decide what level their student should compete at, there isn’t any sort of verification process at a competition. Anyways, whatevs…it’s not so very much about the level as the quality of movement for me and I’m just excited to be doing some more “big girl” moves, you know? Hey, when are you heading to Japan? Do you think you will continue dancing over there? That would be such an interesting experience. The very first time I did any partner dancing, besides general assembly in middle school, was in Spain learning Salsa in Spanish! I can’t even imagine learning steps in Japanese! Yowsa! But I hear that Asians are pretty big into the ballroom so you might be able to get some high quality instruction over there if/when you go.
My flight to Tokyo is on October 20th. (Coming up so fast!) I am going to try to dance while I’m there–I think they are _really_ into Standard but Latin not as much. I found a studio that offers a ballroom/conversational Japanese class which sounds promising. The teachers at my current studio are helping ask around to try to connect me with a studio there. I don’t want to lose whatever progress I’ve made in the last year.
Oh my gosh that is coming so quickly!!! I just saw today that you did one last competition! Gonna check out the videos tonight. I hope you will still blog while overseas!!! XOXO -Stef
P.S. LOVED your hairdo! I saw a picture and it was gorgeous!
Welcome back! You are always missed when you go quiet. A quick note on the vertigo – check out the Epley Maneuver – it can work wonders in minutes on most (not all) vertigo cases without a single med and you can do it yourself. I’ve used it and it was miraculous.
Yay you for persevering through all the pain and still moving forward on your goals (a small step back did not stop the forward progress).
I agree with Speaker In Heels about the Epley Maneuver. My hubby let his vertigo go on too long and had to see a specialist.
Epley Maneuver, huh? Never heard of it, but will Google it immediately. Had another thought about the Stef’s episode of vertigo: Perhaps it was not true vertigo, but low blood sugar in stead. I’ve learned that if I eat a high-carb food such as bread or cereal and a banana, without plenty of fat and/or protein to balance it, I start feeling a bit light-headed a half-hour or so later. I believe the carbs cause an insulin response that rapidly depletes my blood sugar. On more than one occasion, I’ve been hungry just before leaving for a dance lesson, scarfed a banana and a few raisins on my way to the studio and then been barely able to get through the lesson without fainting. Bummer about the hip thing. Hope it goes away soon.