14 Nov

Yesterday was Showcase, my favorite day of the year.

Showcase is a day-long exhibition that our studio does together with the Edina studio. It’s nice to do events with those students as well and see the Edina teachers. I just love performing, so for me, Showcase is like Christmas morning. I get so excited and amped up for it.

I’ve mentioned before that I tend to step up my dancing at a performance. For this Showcase, I had a new Viennese waltz open freestyle to perform for the first time. (Closed dancing is just lead and follow. Open freestyle is about a minute of choreography in that dance that can be done to any music. So I have open freestyles in waltz, tango, foxtrot, cha cha, rumba, swing and now Viennese waltz.) And I had a beautiful new custom-made dance dress for smooth dances! My lessons Friday and Saturday were great. All of our run-thoughs and practices went really well during them; nothing felt like it was going to be a problem.

We had so many students from each studio participating that we had to start at 10:30am to be sure we were done by 5pm. The spotlights (solo auditions about 45 seconds) were first. I had a west coast swing spotlight that went really well. It’s not a dance that we’ve worked on a lot lately, but it’s been feeling more comfortable.

Next was the smooth multi-dances. A multi-dance is a heat of 3-4 dances with 2-5 couples on the floor at the same time. Smooth dances are waltz, tango, foxtrot, and Viennese waltz. So I had 4 heats in smooth: full bronze closed, full bronze open, advanced closed, and advanced open.

Then were the auditions (choreography done to music about 90 seconds). For my auditions, we usually do whatever the newest opens are and just pick a song the day before. So yesterday, I did my Viennese waltz open as an audition. And it went great! So fun to dance it too in my beautiful dress, which I’ll write about soon.

Rhythm multi-dances were next. This includes all the swing dances and all the latin dances. I had 3 heats in rhythm: full bronze closed, full bronze open, and full bronze advanced swing rhythms. They all went great – including my nemesis triple swing!

Overall my day was so wonderful. My main goal that day to focus on at the moment was keeping my head up, which I did. Great dancing, I was at ease, I made a few mistakes but nothing noticeable, Nate made a few mistakes that we could cover and no one noticed…I was feeling so amazing. Flying high on cloud nine.

And then three students, at three separate times during the day, decided to complement me on my dancing. But in doing so, they each offered a comment on what I needed to work on. And those three incidents just killed me. It was so hard for me to hear those comments. First of all, who the hell are you to give me feedback? That’s what my teacher, the other teachers and the judges are for. Secondly, I can tell you what you’re doing wrong too but it’s not my place to say those things. I know I need to smile more, I know I need to have my head to the left, I know I need to sometimes stop thinking when I dance. Nate knows all that stuff for me too. But it’s not what we’re focusing on now, and we will when the time is right.

You know I have a very hard time emotionally believing how good of a dancer I am. And lately I’ve been just beginning to believe in me a little tiny bit. But hearing negative words, even when done as a helpful suggestion, negate all the belief I’ve built up. And I know I shouldn’t give so much energy to it and I shouldn’t let it affect me so much. I felt great about how I danced, I thought I met my goals, I had a stunning new dress, Nate said I did so well and he was extremely proud of me…and then boom – gone.

These three people are all wonderful, warm, caring people. They wanted to tell me how great I dance. Their criticisms were coming from an extremely helpful place – they were trying to help me. But they were also projecting their own issues and what they need to work on onto me.

I left the hotel at the end of the night (after the post-exhibition dinner/dance) literally in tears and crying in the car on my way home. And today after my coaching, I talked to Nate about it and was in tears again.

Please, people…think about what you’re saying to someone. Because you don’t know their minds and their brains, you cannot know for sure how someone will react to your words. So just think “could these words be hurtful to someone?”. And if the answer is yes, don’t say them. And know what is your place to say and what isn’t.

It’s going to take me a while to get over the hurt those comments caused me. I’m lucky to have friends like LS and a teacher like Nate to help me get through this. I’m already starting to feeling a bit better and remember the great dancing I did yesterday.

And to help remember the happy feeling, I just need to look at my dress.

5 Responses to “Showcase”


  1. My first dance dress « The Reinvented Lass - November 15, 2011

    […] rhinestones on the bodice and sew in the underskirt. I picked it up on Friday and danced in it at Showcase […]

  2. Weeks in review « The Reinvented Lass - November 21, 2011

    […] *Preparing for Showcase […]

  3. Candied bacon chocolate chip cookies « The Reinvented Lass - November 27, 2011

    […] A Sunday where I could get LOTS done. Two weeks ago, I had Showcase and last Sunday, I had the stomach flu. So this Sunday, I was able to do all my laundry, make food […]

  4. Weekly roundup « The Reinvented Lass - November 28, 2011

    […] *Pulled myself (finally!) out of my post-Showcase tailspin. […]

  5. Showcase! « The Reinvented Lass - May 8, 2012

    […] was Showcase. The last one was great, other than some student making some comments to me that were intended to […]

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