Happy Valentine’s Day

Whoa. I remember writing a post last Valentine’s Day! I’ve been blogging for over a year! I have to say, it flew by fast. Blogging, and dancing, have truly been enterprises fueled by love, which is fitting, since it’s Valentine’s Day and all.

So, like last year, I’m going to write about the topic of love, in the context of dancing and blogging. Here’s what I’m loving in my dance and blogging life right now:

1) I love getting my ass kicked in Inna’s Latin class on Tuesdays.

This is a real pleasure. Actually, not so much while I’m gasping for breath and leaning on the wall for support like I was last night after Jive and Paso Doble, but there is great pleasure in making it through a class, and in seeing improvement, however slowly it may seem to be happening. There is also a great rush of serious endorphins that hit my blood stream on the ride home after the grueling work-out that is Tuesday night at Imperial Ballroom Dance Center.  More than that, I love seeing my friends in class and learning from such an amazing professional.  The studio is gorgeous, it my favorite space and floor in town by far, and their Holiday Showcase is first-class as well.  Hmmm, I guess this is turning into a love-fest for the entire studio.  Well, so be it.  I love Imperial, and the people who inhabit it, and the work I am lucky enough to get to do there.

2) Getting a positive reaction out of my teacher.

Seriously, if you dance, you will know….it is like, the best, when your teacher is pleased with something you do.  It’s those moments that are really motivating to me and I have to say, I love when they happen, especially since they are far and few between! I’ve been fortunate that in the last couple of lessons, however, I’ve actually managed to get a “Wow!” and some goosebumps out of Mr. Ivan.

The “Wow!” was just this morning on a lesson when we were preparing to begin a Rumba.  I was actually listening to the music (for once) and relaxed and letting myself do whatever I wanted without editing or holding back, which is a win, and it worked just like it’s supposed to!  Gosh, I should do that more often!

The goosebumps occurred on a previous lesson. As always, Ivan was encouraging me to perform, and told me to really “sell it!” in my movement. Basically, dance with confidence and conviction. Easy to say….not so easy to execute sometimes for those of us who struggle with self-doubt. But this was after my fearless blind running (see my last post if you don’t know what I’m talking about) and so I was up for the challenge.  It was a fan, I think in Cha Cha, and I sold it baby!  At first Ivan told me I was copping out, and in his crazy mind/explanation I was accepting $90 when being offered $100.

“Excuse me!”  I replied, “$100 is cheap! I would only accept $1000.”

“Ah, yes, well this like you accepting $3000 for $5000.  Sell it for the $5000.”

I took a deep breath and went for it.  And it worked.

“Ah, you no sell $5000.  You sell $20,000!”  And the proof was the goosebumps.

Yeah, it was awesome, even if it doesn’t really make any sense, but I don’t care – I love me some goosebumps.

3) I love taking ballet class.

I also love people who follow that inner instinct and do things in this world, even when they don’t necessarily make sense to others.  One such person is this lady and it’s because of her that I have a place, as an adult, to go and feel comfortable and reconnect with one of my first dance loves – ballet.  Trust me, it’s not so easy to find a class that would work for me….I’m out of shape but a dancer inside.  I needed a class that was challenging, taught by someone who knows ballet and could coach and correct, but a class that wasn’t too challenging, if you know what I mean.  Nor did I want to dance alongside tweeners.   In a leotard.  That was definitely not gonna work for me.  Well, Anyways, that amazing lady, Teresa, created a dance studio just for people like me and it’s because of her I can go to another dance studio that I love, Abby Bella, (named after her two darling doggies!), and dance my heart out in a joyful way, in a space full of support and camaraderie, and connect with ballet and dancing like I never could as a kid.

I love how just even the few weeks of ballet classes I’ve been taking regularly have seemed to help with balance and maybe even some strength and flexibility.  I’m finding my center again and determined to tackle a double pirouette soon – they were my nemesis as a teenager, but I eventually did successfully harness them.  In any case, I love going, I love stretching and pushing myself, and I love being in the class and in the studio.  I know it’s going to help me with my ballroom dancing too!

4)  I love connecting with others (read you!) through the blog.

Seriously, y’all!  I love getting direct messages and comments and friend requests/followers on the Facebook.  It’s been amazing to meet other dancers as passionate about dancing as I am, to hear stories from others about their struggles and triumphs, to receive support and to support others.  I’ve done some guest blogs, and invited others to write guest posts, not to mention participating in the Dance Advantage Dance Blog Contest which was ah-maz-ing!!! Not only did I get a ton of exposure, and gain some new readers, but I got 3rd place overall and Editor’s Choice.  I feel like my blog is bona fide now, if you know what I mean.  So anyways, not to be cheesy or anything, but you, dear reader, the one reading this right now, I love you!  Yes, I write for me, and to process my experiences and stuff, but I also write for you.  You guys help me stay motivated and accountable.  You send me kindness and friendship.  All of this, I feel, puts me on the better end of the deal!  I appreciate you and I want to say thank you.  I feel like we have something of a community here and I love that.  I’m glad you are here and please don’t be shy to speak up and say hello, digitally or in person!

Alrighty.  It’s late, I’m tired and have a loooooong day ahead of me tomorrow.  I’m gonna sign off.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Love, Stef