Nine Lives – Try For Ten?

…that’s a good question.

Hey! What? Whoa!

Nine years this site has existed. Crazy. I was so much younger nine years ago. Like nine years younger.

…I’m so great at math.

My calendar told me that today marked an anniversary. In all honesty, this is the first time I’ve really logged into this site since last year when I posted on this exact same day (other than to change my password every so often, that is). Looking through some of the things I’ve written on here, it’s like looking into the ramblings of a completely different person…

Why is that? Well, as you may be able to guess since I haven’t posted here since the last anniversary of the site, I haven’t been dancing. I haven’t even thought about going dancing. I haven’t even so much as thought about interesting things to say about dancing that I might post here. It just doesn’t come up in my life right now.

Who knows if that will change in the next year? What I can say is that over this last year – really, it was in the last few months actually – Sparkledancer’s injury has *finally* started to improve noticeably. That injury of hers was one of the things that made even the idea of going out dancing a non-starter well before the pandemic even started. One of the major reasons that the injury has gotten better is because she has really limited both the type and amount of physical activity that she puts herself through.

It’s not 100% yet, but there is finally a light appearing in the distance that may mean there is an end in sight for her. Hooray! 

But that still keeps dancing off the table for her, even in a social/fun capacity, as long as she is still in the healing phase. Because dancing was on the list of reasons that she got the injury in the first place, starting to dance again when she hasn’t completely and fully recovered would be really foolish. And without her there, that keeps me from wanting to go, because it’s not really fun for me without her. So for now, this is just a check-in to say that nothing has changed, and there’s no real timetable for any change at this point.

And who knows what the future will bring? Maybe six months from now I’ll decide to go back to dancing, but it will all be square dancing, or contra dancing, or only polka! Or maybe there will be no dancing at all, and I’ll get really into something like competitive crochet next month! The pockets that hold my future realities are many and varied, and I have no idea which one I will jump into.

Happy nine years, site!

***Thank you to Sparkledancer for letting me ‘borrow’ her tree for this picture. I was worried because she told me it was fragile, but I didn’t break it at all! Yay me!***

Once Upon A Time In The Land of Eight, There Stood A Castle, Very Great

…except it hasn’t really been that great lately, has it?

Hey! Look at that! I’m still alive! It’s only been… almost six months since I’ve posted anything, and several months since I last logged in here to read anything that anyone else has posted. How is the dance world? Still keeping on keeping on?

My calendar told me that today was the anniversary for this site, marking eight years since I posted my first inane rambling about dance online. Let me tell you, this eighth year has certainly been a major change from the previous seven. I’m sure you know that though, so why am I telling you? But in case you didn’t know, it’s changed pretty majorly. Pretty. Majorly. Indeed.

And because of that major change, I don’t really have much to say. What hasn’t changed though is my regard to dancing in my life. 

Sure, occasionally I will see some posts that friends do online about dance things they are out doing, and sometimes I talk about dance with the few people I talk to these days, but for the most part dance doesn’t even cross my mind lately. There are other, safer hobbies that I have taken up to fill all the time I used to spend dancing, things that don’t require me to leave the house and be around people. And weirdly enough I am perfectly content with that. Plus, it certainly makes my cat happy. She can sit with me and get pets while I do things at home, which is something she couldn’t do when I was leaving the house all the time to go out dancing.

How has dance life been treating you? Have you thrown yourself back into it already, or are you like me and still hunkering down and staying away from people? No matter the case, I hope it is making you happy, and that you are staying healthy in the process. We’ll have to wait and see what year nine brings us, won’t we!

Note – I thought about putting together some elaborate picture to honor this eighth anniversary, but the shelves where I used to keep the Lego castles, and the table I used to stage the pictures I once took weekly are currently being used for a different hobby. Sometime over the last six months I packed away all the Legos I had put together and put them in their actual storage spaces, because I kept bumping them and breaking them. 

Instead, here’s a picture of a what a lot of my collection looks like now – neatly tucked away in this drawer where I keep them. Yay! Neatly bagged and organized, like some kind of weirdo!

Everyone’s Gone On Without You

It seems like we are moving closer to the ‘forgetting all about the pandemic’ stage of things in my area. A couple of weeks ago we moved into the next phase of opening back up here, which officially allowed dance studios to resume business partially. As I mentioned in past weeks, some studios already had instructors teaching lessons in those studios under the radar, so this change allowed them to start officially advertising those lessons to the wider public. I’ve seen the notifications that were sent out, and it sounds like everyone is excited to get back to work.

Parties are also starting back up at studios around me. These are still only allowed to have a limited number of people attend, so if you want to go you have to reserve your spot ahead of time. Some of the classes are advertising that you can attend the class virtually if you are not fast enough to secure one of the limited in-person spots. One studio I saw was even going to hold a “Grand Re-Opening” party in a couple of weeks. It’s so weird to think about like that, but I guess that they have been closed for around six months, so this really would be like a reopening of sorts for them.

I am not planning on attending any of these events. While I understand that the organizers are doing their best to keep everyone as safe from exposure as possible, the reason why I’m actually not planning on attending is really… I’m just not interested in going.

Wait, what?

Yeah. To be completely honest here, I’ve had some time to reflect on ballroom dancing in my life, and looking back I have to say that accepting the offer to move into competitive dancing completely and away from just having fun has left this black cloud hanging over me. I’m not excited about the idea of going back to a dance studio anytime soon. Once I opted to move to being a competitive dancer, I spent so much time in studios working on the dancing I had to do for my coach that all of the fun was taken out of it. So even the idea of just going back to the studio for parties and things right now just doesn’t hold much appeal for me.

Since things have opened back up, I have gotten calls from my dance coach. He wanted to know how I was doing, how my dance partner was doing, and when we were going to meet up to start training again. I didn’t have an answer to that. I don’t know if I would want to go back to spending most nights of the week at a dance studio practicing to meet the high expectations that were placed on me as a competitor. It just… doesn’t feel like it would be a good choice.

The farther away I get from the last time I was actually on a dance floor, the less I feel like pulling out my dance shoes and jumping back onto one. There’s something really nice about the more relaxed pace that I have found for my life during the shutdown. I don’t have to worry about rushing out of the office and trying to work out and eat dinner as fast as possible most nights so that I can be someplace else to dance. I have time to just be quiet, to sit on the couch and pet the cat, which I know makes her happy. I can focus during my workouts on the movements that I am doing in the moment rather than trying to remember all the movements I would have to work on during practice after my workout is over. That makes a big difference in how much I enjoy my workouts.

Speaking of workouts… this also means that I don’t have to worry about my weight with all the weightlifting I do. My dance coach was constantly on my case about how big I was. He kept telling me that I needed to get back down to 180 lbs. (I weigh a lot more than that). His reasoning was that my shoulders were too big, so when I held my arms up while in frame I didn’t have a flat line going from elbow to elbow because my shoulder muscles were too big. If I don’t go back to dancing, I can keep all the muscle I already have, or maybe even put on more if I want! Hooray!

So what happens from here? I really don’t know. I’m sure that I will go out dancing again at some point in my future, but it probably won’t be anytime soon. I don’t know if I will continue to try and force myself to update this site once a week like I have done for so many years. If I’m not out dancing, there’s really not much to write about, is there? Maybe if I hear about exciting stuff happening in the world of dance I will make a note of it, but only if I find it amusing. Probably. Who knows?

This will give me time to focus on other things I am writing. Maybe you’ll see those somewhere on the interwebs in the near future, if you lurk around the same places that I do. But those items I write, if I finish them, will not talk about dance. I do have other ideas sometimes, after all.

I’ll still be lurking around from time to time. Feel free to poke me if you want to talk. 🙂

I Move This Fast, And I Make Mistakes

I don’t really have much to write tonight.

Actually, there are things I had in mind to write about… but I didn’t actually want to spend time thinking about those things tonight. In all honesty, I have put a lot of thought today into coming up with a plan for how to hand out candy safely on Halloween this year. We’re counting down the days to that holiday, and it’s my favorite holiday, so it’s important to me to think about what I’m going to do to celebrate. I know it’s still a long way off, but with how things are going in the world right now, I have to put more time into thinking about Halloween than I normally would.

The actual day falls on a Saturday this year. In the past stages of my life (i.e. pre-pandemic times), that would have meant that awesome things could happen on Halloween night itself. Either going out to a house party, or to a club to be around people, or to a ballroom dancing party, which is what I have done in these past several years of my life. I would be putting in time about now thinking of what kind of awesome costume I could wear that I could still dance in. That’s an important thing to think about!

This year, those things probably won’t happen. Since I do live in an area now where Trick-or-Treating still happens, there will still be something that I can do Halloween night to keep me entertained, which is passing out candy in costume. I just have to figure out the best way to do it so that A) it’s fun for me, and B) it’s safe for everyone involved. I have an idea I’m contemplating, and about a month-and-a-half to turn it into reality if that’s what I think will work best.

So, because that’s what I’ve been thinking about, the other dance-related things that I had made notes about to discuss are getting shelved until later. Sorry this week hasn’t been super exciting. But, let’s face it… the world of partner dancing isn’t as exciting as it used to be right now, so that’s kind of par for the course.

Until later!