Back to Ballroom: Day 5 (PERFORMANCE DAY!)

Updated: Apr 12, 2020


Lesson: There’s always room for improvement.

That was one of the most emotionally draining things I’ve done in a while. Why do I do this to myself??

I spent the morning working on the blog and other stuff while having the performance stuck in the back of my mind. At 4 o’clock, I drove over to the studio for my last lesson with Kris before our performance at 9.

It was painful.

I decided to jump right into things, so I didn’t warm up properly. I put on my heels and started working up a storm. Kris’s instruction was great, but throughout the whole thing I felt like something was wrong with my heels, or I looked weird, etc. I felt super uncomfortable, and to make things worse, I turned into a tomato!

This always happens when I work out really hard!! Is there something wrong with me??

Even though we practiced with slower music and I tried focusing on keeping my ribcage closed, and my knees working, the message didn’t transfer until before the performance. I was beyond frustrated after the lesson. I felt like I didn’t want to perform. I was stuck on a tape of negativity. My feet hurt--the blisters had popped during my dancing, leaving me cringing at every step (TMI but that’s life). My tomato face was getting too much attention--none of the instructors had seen me in my tomato-sweat state. The fact that they noticed it and commented on it made me want to sink into the ground.

One instructor had a different response to my tomato face. He said he’d be happy if his students turned red like I did because at least that meant they were putting their all into the lesson. It was nice of him to say that, but all I could think about was how un-sweaty I needed to be for the performance at 9.

At that point, I just wanted to go home.

How the hell I was supposed to perform? I looked like a mess, I felt like a mess, and all I wanted to do was curl up in my pajamas and treat myself to some Netflix. That’s when I became sick of myself. Of making excuses for myself. I can’t fully explain the monologue that went on in my head, but basically I forced myself to snap out of it. In my head, every coach I’ve had, both in ballroom and ice skating started yelling at me to snap out of it.

I woke up.

I put some makeup on, put my sweaty hair into a ponytail, put on my practice shoes, and assisted in a beginner lesson. I started to feel better, and a lot of it had to do with the makeup! (who knew, right) As someone who is a large advocate of less is more (literally. I hate wearing makeup sometimes), putting a some on really helped me get my act together, and I was extremely happy with the finished look:

Assisting in the beginner lesson was also a great warm-up, and helped get me back into the zone. By the time we ran through the routine, I was in full competition mode (even though this technically wasn’t a competition...).

During the performance, all I thought about was keeping my rib cage closed, knees working, and eyes on my partner. Honestly, it was the most stable I’ve felt in a while--dancing with a partner, I mean. Maybe it was the rib cage thing (It really works!).

I watched the video afterward. I always hate how I look the first time I watch my dance videos, but I have to agree with what Kris told me: for three lessons, it wasn’t bad. There’s always room for improvement, but from a non-dancer’s viewpoint, the performance doesn't look bad.