I would personally like to thank the makers of Aveda’s Foot Repair. I have been on my feet, in my ballroom heels (even the practice shoes have heels) so much the past few weeks I am in real danger of developing a nasty case of “dancer feet”. Dancer feet: the calluses, sore spots, bruises, and blisters and occasional bleeding toes that result from multiple hours of abuse use of one’s feet by a dancer. My beloved Foot Repair seems to be the only thing saving me from the unsightly and uncomfortable state of full on dancer feet. A pumice stone can only do so much.
On the other hand video can reveal much. Sometimes rather more than with which I would like to contend. In my enthusiasm to push myself and take full advantage of the opportunity for personal growth and excellence that the Windy City Open represents I am competing in 9 different dances- that’s two hands worth of fingers- as well as performing two exhibition numbers, which are of course in two different dance styles than any of my competition dances. That is 11 different dances routines and styles or two hands worth of fingers and one toe. Enter video as a tool.
Normally I don’t use video as a learning tool. Generally I can tell by feel and body mechanics what I am doing well and what needs more work. Between that and writing out the routines I can practice on my own with good results. Plus I have never liked looking at myself on film. I find it too easy to tune myself out as a defense against being my own most vigorous critic. But nine different routines as short as they may be averaging a minute is a lot to retain with so little time before the competition. Normally people begin preparing for a competition 10- 12 weeks in advance, not 5 -6 weeks before the competition. Two weeks ago was the first lesson after I decided I wanted to enter the competition and we worked out the choreography for all nine dances. Last week’s lesson was practice, practice, refine and more practice. We are on a break neck pace, but the momentum while fast feels exciting and good, like a Quickstep.
So I am learning to take a big breath, open my eyes and look at the dang videos. It’s not as bad as I thought it would be, to see myself on video. Yes there are things to work on, lines to be improved and foot work to be more percise. My Rhythm dances (Cha- Cha, Rumba, Swing, Mambo, Bolero, West Coast) are stronger than my Smooth (Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz) nothing unexpected there. To my surprise my smooth footwork one the video was not in a state of complete shambles as I thought it was- hurrah! I am here to tell you folks it is amazing what can be practiced while cooking dinner. Speaking of dinner, I will definitely continue with my current watch-what-you-eat-recovery-from-vacation-eating mode. Nothing like seeing yourself on video and knowing there is Lycra in your future to re-enforce good eating habits. See what I mean about one area of growth impacts other areas of life.
* Just Fine by Mary J. Blige: this is my current theme song.