General Dance Discussion > Anyone ever taken a break from dance?

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by sbrnsmith, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. Kelly Long

    Kelly Long Member

  2. Cal

    Cal Well-Known Member

    I can't believe what an idiotic Pollyanna I was back in July with that post.

    My lower back has been a bit "twingy" for the last week, and this morning as I was rolling over to get out of bed, my lower back went out. This is not fun, but I guess it makes a change from the other end of the spine! Ibuprofen and ice are the order of the day.

    But you know, this latest little hiccup is the straw the broke the camel's back and I think I may call it a day with dancing. I've been handed a bunch of additional PT exercises/stretches for my neck and I simply don't have enough time in the day to work on PT and dance. So, if it's a choice of one or the other, it's the day-to-day functions that are paramount – for instance, being able to turn my head to drive safely is obviously more important than a PP position.

    I also saw some photos that a friend took, and if I look at it quite objectively, it looks like I've got no neck. I don't see that changing much, even if I do improve the range of motion. And some little voice inside me is telling me that god/fate didn’t save me from paralysis in a car accident just to fritter away that blessing on being another ballroom want-to-be.

    I've been thinking about the thread about amateur eligibility levels, and although I tell myself that I don't care what other people think, in reality I really don't want a bunch of people talking behind my back about how I don't belong on the floor and feeling "embarrassed" for me when I'm out there.

    I'm sore and worn out, and I want to do something that I might actually be good at.
  3. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    Cal, I'm so sorry to hear about your back. It definitely sounds like time for a break, and if you want to decide that you're done with it altogether, that's a reasonable call. Or you could just wait and see if you ever get the urge to come back to it, and let your feelings over time make the decision. One thing I want to say, though -- I haven't posted in regard to that issue in the eligibility level thread, but I will admit to feeling embarrassed for people when I see them, e.g., dancing in open when they belong in bronze or silver. But the embarrassment comes from seeing them out of place, and the feeling that they must have been misled, either by their own ego or by their teacher, into thinking they're better than they are. If I saw the same dancer dancing the same way in bronze, I would never sneer at them -- they're just working at their dancing, like all of us. I know you haven't been happy with your comp results, but I have no reason to believe that you're dancing out of the appropriate category, so the comments in that thread don't apply to you at all.

    Sending gentle hugs and best wishes for someday getting a healthy, pain-free spine.
    FancyFeet and raindance like this.
  4. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    Cal...I am sorry...honestly, even without injury I have been feeling the same....that my best days are behind me...that I am sick of dieting to no effect and of being judged...but I will say this: one thing I do know is that life is about doing what gives us whatever part of it you can still do in whatever venue and still enjoy, you deserve to enjoy....I hope it gets better
  5. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    I've been thinking about you and your situation and wondering how you are doing. You have a more extreme version of a situation that many of us are in for one reason or another. A few questions for you:

    How are you doing physically? Are you taking a break from dancing and are you able to work on your overall well being more successfully?

    Is there a way for you to enjoy dance that has a different orientation, at least for a while? Or maybe after a while?

    Do you think you that after a break you might be able to go back to it, perhaps with different goals?

    I hope there's been some improvement.
    raindance likes this.
  6. Cal

    Cal Well-Known Member

    It's about one month on now from my meltdown, and I'm back to something resembling more of an even keel. Many thanks to those of you who expressed your concern both on and off the forum boards – it gave me reassurance that I'm not crazy.

    Progress: my lower back resolved itself after about a week. As for the neck, I kept working at the stretches and exercises that my PT gave me, and last week, she re-tested my range of motion using two different instruments, and the ROM had increased to the best numbers I've had. That was a huge boost in morale. She said that, realistically, I can't expect to get the "elasticity" and "speed" of movement until at least a year post-injury. My primary care physician told me to use a combo of ibuprofen/acetaminophen when things get uncomfortable in the neck area, and that works pretty well. My Alexander Technique practitioner also has focused on my shoulder area, so I'm incorporating that technique into my exercises as well. And my Pro – well, the guy has been absolutely steady as rock throughout all of this. I have an incredibly supportive team of people helping me and I know that I've got to trust them and focus on the things that are working to help improve the parts that are still a bit weak.

    It IS improving. Yesterday, I saw some people I hadn't seen for about a year and they didn't know that I'd been in a car crash. They asked if I'd been hurt at all – I had to show them my scar to get them to believe me!

    Where that takes me dance-wise: dunno; but if I don't have a "plan" for a while, well, so what? I think I'll focus on its therapeutic benefits for a bit and put the aesthetics in the background.
  7. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    I am about to take a week or two break from dancing. Should probably take two weeks off, but not sure I can stand missing the lessons! I would prefer to take a break from the rest of my life and continue to dance, but that's not going to happen, so I'll try this. I'm too tired and too much hurts to really enjoy myself, and I'm hoping a couple of weeks off will help me recover and figure out how to manage my life better. The problem with canceling lessons with pro is that they are gone forever--he has no time in his schedule to make up lessons. All the same, if I still feel this crummy, I will take two weeks off. After that, if I still feel crummy, will work with teachers to figure out how to handle it....
  8. sbrnsmith

    sbrnsmith Well-Known Member

    Really, a week or two is not that much in the grand scheme of things- I have been in that spot, when I thought I would die if I had a gap of 3 weeks from my lessons- but slowly and painfully I learned that I can survive, and that sometimes, a break is welcome, because I was over-extending myself. I think most of us can relate...and connect to the burn out thread- we give so much- and at some point it becomes too much- I would drive home from work, at that time, 2.5 hours away, after 5-7 days, and pick myself up, and drive to lessons early next morning, very often before I had recovered from a week of work. I made myself do it, as I thought I had to...managing my life better- I think I'm still learning. Don't beat yourself up over that.
    GGinrhinestones and fascination like this.
  9. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    I plan weeks off into my calendar. 4-5 times a year, I have a week completely off. Usually after comps, with a week in the smmer.

    I also plan what I call a 'light week' every 6-8 weeks, where I'll only dance 4 days (instead of my usual 6, one of which is a double practice day) and sub for lighter gym workouts or take a yoga class.

    I burn out if I don't, as my current schedule is a bit killer:
    Mon - gym, 1.5 hrs practice
    Tues - 2 hours practice (sometimes a lesson and 1 hr practice)
    Wed - lesson, 1.5 hours practice
    Thurs - gym, 1.5 hours optional practice (depends on how I'm feeling)
    Fri - off
    Sat - 2 hours practice, 1 hour ballet
    Sun - 1.5 hours morning practice, 2 hours late afternoon practice
  10. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I dance about 15-20 hours per week, and I have more recently sought to be more consistent when it comes to

    1. at least one additional cardio workout per week (usually running on the treadmill and getting my heart rate up to a level that is longer and higher than I would normally have in ballroom dancing.
    2. Weights (sometimes just at home with my own bodyweight) to strengthen muscles in ranges that I would not normally strengthen doing ballroom dancing.
    3. Eating before and after exercise, including dancing
    If I do all these well, I typically do not need a break, even after a long day of dancing (ex. 5-6 hours in my case).
  11. Newdancer81

    Newdancer81 Active Member

    Wow, all you guys and girls are hardcore.

    I know a lot of you compete, but I'm just trying to become a good social dancer.

    I probably do the following:

    1. 2 group lessons, 1 practice session and 1-2 private lessons a week.
    2. Cardio - 1.5 hours every two days
    3. Arms/legs - 1 hour every two days
    4. Basketball/soccer - once a week.
    5. Practice at home by myself for about 1-2 hours per week.

    So I think I dance 6-8 hours a week.

    In terms of taking a break, I took a break last week because I was sick, but then for some reason, all the little things my instructor was drilling into me kicked in even though they never kicked in before. It was odd.
    RiseNFall likes this.
  12. rels77

    rels77 Active Member

    I took a break of about 6 weeks after Ohio. I needed it. I was really afraid I would come back and have lost something. Nope. Instead, it felt better than it had in a long time. And it was easier. I will definitely be taking more of these every now and then. I'm a better dancer and a more balanced person because of it.
    fascination likes this.
  13. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    compulsion, fear, obsession, neediness, imbalance show up in dancing.....good for you
  14. lauraberney

    lauraberney New Member

    Spartacus, thanks for sharing your story. It will inspire not only the new dancers but also those who wish to pursue their dance passion over any hurdle in life.

    Everyone has to face life’s rules, but it is the passion in us which keeps us alive.
  15. Artofdance11

    Artofdance11 New Member

    I took a two year break from competing and I got back into it this year, my first comp in two years is on Saturday.
    3wishes likes this.
  16. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

  17. Artofdance11

    Artofdance11 New Member

    Unfortunately, I just learned that I'll be competing against a reigning champion. Great.... o_O
  18. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    Past success is not a guarantee of how they'll dance this time. Maybe they're ill/hurt, or will be distracted, or haven't been working hard lately... or maybe you or someone has significantly improved and has passed them in ability.

    Plus, you really can't control what they do, only what you put out there. Just enjoy the experience of first comp back, and go in without expectations :)
    stash likes this.
  19. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    well, look I feel your pain...I have been at the top of the heap and I have been out of it for a while can only do your best for that day...and trust me, it is more fun getting to the top than trying to maintain it.....IME...nice thing about dancing against a talented field is that, while you can let it add pressure, it is also just as easy to let it reduce your is all in how you choose to look at it...YOU have nothing to lose
    stash, RiseNFall and FancyFeet like this.
  20. armaniperez112

    armaniperez112 New Member

    There's a point in our life where we want to take a back seat and enjoy our free time. I also reach that point where I want to take a break from dancing not because I lose interest but because I want to try other things and prioritize other things in life. On the other hand, I terribly missed dancing and want to go back soon.
    danceronice and fascination like this.

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