Update/Catharis: ballroom dance

Hey everyone. It’s 11:05 p.m. as I’m writing this. I just felt the need to get a lot of stuff off my chest, because my head is spinning in circles- there’s simply too much going on in there.

I want to talk about ballroom dance. As you may or may not know, I’ve been dancing for a bit over 4 months now. In the beginning it was like, OMG, this is so exciting, ballroom is super fun and oh yeah I want to be a world champion one day!!  I was insanely enthusiastic and passionate and loved every minute I had to dance. The thing with latin, though, is that the more you learn, the more you realize how much you DON’T know. It’s very frustrating sometimes, focusing on all the technique and annoying stuff. And it’s hard too, coming from such a high level in gymnastics, and having to start all the way at square one again in something completely new, knowing how hard it will be to reach that high level again. I get very impatient. I expect to be an amazing dancer is such a short amount of time. The reality: not gonna happen. Life doesn’t work that way. Anything worth getting takes TIME.

So I’ve reached a plateau in my journey. I no longer feel the spirit, the motivation to become a world champion dancer. Dancing feels like WORK now, in all honesty. I’m not sure if this is normal, or if it’s a reflection of myself. Like I said, I’m super hard on myself. When I can’t get the steps or technique right, I get frustrated and super negative and dejected. And I’m sure I’m not the first to feel this way. I’m gonna be straight up with you guys: I think about quitting sometimes. Take tonight, for instance. As  I was studying Chinese, I had a thought: what if I quit ballroom now? Would it really be so bad? I could invest more of my time into academics and other activities that don’t put such a physical strain on my body. Shadowing Dr. Nwynn has really given me a newfound interest in pursuing medicine. I’d have a simple reason to quit: my chronic knee injury that was in the process of healing from gymnastics, but is now being exacerbated every day by my dancing. And this is the truth: my knees are acting up again, just like they were when I was still in gymnastics. A couple days ago I was walking a hill when I felt this sharp pain shoot up both knees, like I was being stabbed by a knife. I really do not want to re-injure myself…

But then I take a step back and think. Why do I really want to quit? The whole injury thing, while a valid reason, is merely an excuse. What’s going on here?

Now I’m questioning myself. Am I really so weak that when there’s a little bump in the road I just quit? Of course learning latin dance will not be easy. Who said it would be easy? And if we look at just the facts, HELLOOOOOOOO!!! I’ve been dancing for 4 months!!! I’ve made incredible progress during those months, and I should be very proud of myself. Just because it’s getting harder doesn’t mean I should just quit. The fact that learning latin is so difficult should be motivation enough for me to continue. Belicia Tang is no quitter. It’s hard now, especially since I’m just beginning and learning how to dance. But I promise: If I continue to work hard each and every day- going through each little step one hundred times until my muscles remember,  being extremely nit-picky about details, keeping my eye on the reward- I will one day, perhaps in a few years, look back and be able to SEE the improvement. It’s hard with dance, to see the day to day improvement. But I know for a fact that if I am patient and just stick with ballroom, I will one day reap the rewards of my hard work.

As my rhythmic gymnastics coach once told me, “Don’t lose heart. Hope dies last.” I can do this. Of course there will be rough patches in any journey one embarks on. It’s a matter of overcoming that rough patch that separates the strong from the weak. And I am anything BUT weak (self-assurance, not cockiness, I swear).

So I have decided after this fairly lengthy catharsis that I some reason decided to post on the internet, I WILL STICK WITH BALLROOM. I still love this art. And I remember why I started: it is beautiful to watch, and even greater as a means to express oneself. I watch amazing dancers like Anna Melnikova and Yulia Zagoruychenko, and I feel the magic. I want to be able to GIVE people that same magical feeling through my dancing one day. This is why I should stick with ballroom. The journey was never meant to be easy, but the rewards of my hard work will be worth it.

Good night,

Belicia

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