To compete or not compete?

That was the question put to me by Boss tonight.

There is a competition taking place in my home town in 6 weeks in which Boss and I are both heavily involved in the planning.  It’s the first time in 2 years a competition has been held in this city, and it will be only the second time that there is a pro/am division.

Boss suggested doing at least a solo, but also perhaps some latin.

It’s really tempting, but when I take a step back and look at the big picture, it’s just not worth it or feasible right now.

Aside from the cost, I really have to take my health into consideration.  I am getting a new drain inserted on Friday, which will have an effect on my dancing and for how long, I don’t know.  Chances are very high that once it is removed, my belly will fill with fluid again and I will need surgery to correct it. The medication I am on for the hot flashes is starting to make me really drowsy, dizzy and dopey.  I have a hard time getting out of bed before 1230.  In two weeks, I will have to decide whether or not to try the hormone therapy again, and if I do go ahead, how I want to proceed with it.  There will be side effects from that regardless of what I do.

It’s a lot happening with my body in the next couple weeks and adding the stress of preparing for a competition just doesn’t make sense.  On top of that, I have to consider that I am really working on some personal goals right now–like watching what I eat so I can get back on track with my weight, and hopefully returning to weight training next month.  I also hope to return to work in early April.

There is also dance considerations.  While competing in anyway is a great goal for dance, right now I have very little to show that’s different from my last competition.  I am also just now getting into a great rhythm of working through my own self-practice and in my lessons with Boss to the point where a lot of things that have been eluding me are starting to come together–especially in standard.  If I were to do a solo or some latin at a competition in 6 weeks, I would have to take time from my lessons to prepare for that, and I would lose some of the momentum I have been slowly gaining.  It would mean starting back a few paces after the competition and starting to rebuild that momentum again.

Previously, I honestly would have jumped at the chance to compete and prepare for a competition and a showcase–especially in my home town.  But right now, I find that I don’t want to focus on competing or even performing.  I don’t want to take the time away from other things to prepare for it.  Starting next week, I am cutting down to only two lessons per week (which is normal for me), and that reduces my lesson time even further.  I am not even back to doing competitive practices yet, and I don’t know really when I will be.

I was actually surprised Boss brought this up tonight, but I guess I shouldn’t be.  Things have been going really well in my lessons, better than I think he thought, so it was a natural step for him to make.  I think he was working under the assumption that I would do at least a solo, and that any other heats were extra.  I am really thinking I don’t want to do either.

I will still go and watch the competition and support the other competitors from my home town, but unless something changes dramatically, I don’t expect to be on the competition floor anytime soon.  In all honesty, I have pretty much resigned myself to aiming for the fall and a bigger competition out east.

The unexpected discussion aside, my lesson was really really great tonight.  I absolutely love the way that Boss and I are working right now, and I love his plan moving forward.  We started working through the steps in my waltz routine in precise detail–meaning literally from one step to the next, stopping between so I can see where I am, what adjustments I need to make and focus on where the next step will be.  We did it together, and then I did it on my own.  We got through almost the entire first line, and then we did it with the music to see if there was a difference.

I was pretty amazed by how much difference there actually was.  One of the things I have been struggling with is how much more I have to keep my lower body forward now that I don’t have as big a belly.  It’s a huge difference.  But it helps to work with Boss as I can use him for reference to give me an idea of how to adjust on my own.  It’s coming, but it’s a lot of work and processing.  I love it.  Boss told me we are going to work through all my standard routines that way, and I can’t wait.

No more lessons this week, but I will get in to practice tomorrow before the drain is inserted on Friday.

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