I am not sure why, but tonight I find myself missing competing.
My next planned competition is not until November and there is a lot to do before then to prepare.
The last time I competed was last October and I was so run down from having shingles it wasn’t really a ‘true’ competition. If I look back, the last time I felt like I was really competing was the end of October 2014, right before I was diagnosed.
I think it is more than competing that I am missing. I think it is having a clear goal to aim for and to know when I go out on the that floor I will do so knowing that I have prepared my best and things will fall as they fall. I like being meticulous in what I do and I feel like that is missing from my dance. While I do have a clear goal, it is still tentative until the registration is made and the tickets are purchased.
Perhaps it is strange to say, but I crave knowing where I really stand compared with others of my level and how much more work I need to do. I am preparing for my next medal test, but it is not really the same as a competition. There is something about the competitive spirit and preparations that helps drive me forward. Knowing that my competitors are working just as hard as I am right now makes me want to work harder.
At my last ‘real’ competition, I really felt that I had begun to come into my own in establishing my own dance ‘style’. I lost some of that through my illness just from the sheer fatigue and weakness I have experienced. As I journeyed through my illness, my focus changed to making sure I got through all my treatments and keeping myself dancing–giving myself a regular place to escape to and forget all that I was dealing with.
But now I am back–and I hope for a long while. I want to work to develop my dance ‘identity’ and style again. When I see myself as a dancer, I see someone who is strong, precise and enduring. I am not a ‘fun’, ‘cute’ or even ‘sexy’ dancer. I am fierce, passionate and technical. That is what I truly want to be again. It took a lot of time and work before I got sick to start to develop that style, and I am hoping it won’t take as much time and work to recapture it.
When I look at the way forward for me, I know that I need to work to be the dancer I truly am again and I need to give myself the time to recapture that. Next week will be a little disjointed as I am not yet ready to return to regular practice and I don’t know how many lessons I will have because of the holiday and Boss’s schedule. Part of me just wants to get back on the floor as much as possible, but the other part knows I have to be patient and give my recovery time.
I will admit that in one area I do feel a profound sense of frustration. When I look at the different competitions I want to do, the biggest obstacle is not my health, or time or the amount of work I do, it’s budget. Unfortunately, I don’t live in a place where competitions are easy to get to, or even happen all that often. The few competitions that are here have almost no competitors, so not worth the expense to go. I want to compete more, but for now it just isn’t financially possible. I think I feel this most when considering doing open smooth and finding there is not enough time and I just cannot afford the lessons to truly develop the routines I need to in order to compete.
I will admit to being torn. I enjoy a lot the freedom of pro/am–I get to work on what I want, practice on my own, pursue goals that are truly my own and not have to really worry about someone else’s dancing. I know Boss will be able to match me and beyond in anything I do. But if I had a partner the costs would be decreased exponentially. All of which is a moot point as there are no men in my area even close to my age interested in pursuing dance–I know, I have looked. Sad as it sounds, Boss is the youngest male dancer I know–by more than a decade–and he is only 10 months younger than me.
I am a firm believer in fate and karma though. I hope I have sown enough seeds of good karma to help me see this through, and if it is my fate to truly do well at this then life will find a way. I have been blessed many times in my life that things have worked out unexpectedly, even if I had to work very hard to get there.
All this to say that as I continue on my recovery, I am starting to rediscover pieces of the dancer I was before I got sick and life took me in a whole new direction. I am finding pieces that thankfully, until recently, I didn’t really know were missing.
Now I just have to figure out where they fit.