Ballroom Dance > Realistic expectations vs. limiting oneself

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by RiseNFall, Dec 5, 2015.

  1. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    To the OP, I'd like to offer a slightly different suggestion from most. It sounds like you're viewing goals mainly through an achievement mindset, which isn't bad necessarily but does leave the achievement of those goals up to a lot of factors outside your control. Instead I'd recommend focusing on a growth mindset or on things that are completely within your control (commanding a particular set of movements or particular degree of difficulty for choreography) rather than levels, comp placements, etc. that are more or less fully outside your control. An example based on your responses for a short-term goal would be commanding your American rumba walks, full-speed, with all the technique currently on your plate in some time period, maybe two weeks. And then you could add another layer or tweak of technique onto the plate and start the process over again.
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  2. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    A little bit, but placing well out of the gate in open wasn't the point of the decision to skip syllabus. The key question was, 2-3 years down the line, will you do better if you had to learn 5 silver routines, 5 gold routines, and then 5 open routines or if you just learned 5 open routines and had the other ten routines' choreography time to develop movement quality, evolve the choreography to better suit your strengths, and clean / add additional layers of quality into the open program? Once you agree to a long-term time frame with a partnership, the decisions you make don't need to over-index to the short-term so much and the answer that's better for the long-term seems more obvious. And really, we'd have been just as nervous taking the floor for open the first time even if there were 1-2 years of good syllabus results built up, so we may as well get it out of the way sooner.
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  3. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    Interesting. Thanks for the insight.
  4. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    I bet dancing Irishman has an eastern European coach. They often start their students in open.
  5. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    And even more thanks to everyone.

    The origin of the question was a conversation with one of the teachers in which I commented that I knew I would never dance like a couple of the top pro-am students in the studio--and I will not. Not only are they both extremely good dancers, one of them has been dancing pretty much her whole life and the other has a phenomenal presence that I don't think I will ever match. The teacher's response was that thinking like that is self-limiting. We are both correct, but I'm beginning to see how to have a mind-set that is more positive without being delusional.
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  6. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

  7. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    I'm going with Cornutt's philosophy:

  8. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure what it says about me that I first parsed that out as "How Many Bones Can I Break" rather than "How Much Better Can I Be"...
  9. snapdancer

    snapdancer Well-Known Member

    For me it was "How Much BS Can I Bear?"
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  10. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    Nope. He's from northwest Arkansas, actually.
  11. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    That's pretty close lol. Errr not
  12. Newdancer81

    Newdancer81 Active Member

    Oh my instructor was on that from the time I first started and emphasizing weight change after the first couple of lessons. I can definitely see instruction difference. I went to a salsa club recently and the "instructor" (who is really only a DJ) and instead of telling people to change weight, he told people to "tap". I guess that's understandable given it's a club as opposed to actual dance instruction.
  13. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    I want to give an update to this thread, about 9 months later.

    I dance better at the moment (at least when things are going well) than I had ever imagined that I could. Part of it, of course, is just time put in and some very talented and dedicated teachers. However, there are some other contributing factors as well. A major one is gradually being more successful at turning off the judgmental part of my thought process while I'm dancing. Sometimes I also turn off the analytical part and leave that to the teacher, but I'm talking about the part that says things like, "that's been corrected so many times, you're never going to do it right" and other such encouraging and cheerful remarks. Generally speaking, a good voice to remove from one's head.;) I have more or less embraced the "let's see how good I can get" approach.

    Another factor has been very carefully analyzing physical issues that have been holding me back and working on them with the help of a chiropractor, etc. Also, a careful and well-targeted exercise program. I injure easily, so the "careful" part is critical.

    Practicing "smart" has also been very important. I can only do so much without risking side-lining myself altogether, so i have to think carefully about what and how to practice. Repeating something a few times a day pays off more than I thought it would. Sometimes when I have thought there must be something fundamentally wrong with how I'm doing something, it turns out I just need more practice (which, once more, requires turning off that "you're never going to get it" commentary). Limiting the number of daily reps is actually working better for me.

    Having a pro with a good sense of humor helps immeasurably as well. :)
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  14. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    Can you elaborate further? I've had more injuries with dance than I can count. This year it's been patella not tracking. Last year it was shoulder impingement. I've lost track of the lower back issues. What do you do to stay on track? I am currently following a good PT regimen and I won't set foot in a traditional fitness class for fear of further injury.
  15. raindance

    raindance Well-Known Member

    debmc - Are your dance instructors aware of good dance technique as it relates to injury prevention? I've found some coaches/pros/teachers to be very aware (thanks to their own experiences with injuries and working through or around them, and thanks to their own training along the way), and others to be very oblivious (some of these are young and think everyone is invincible, others are just lucky ones who never have dealt with injuries themselves and so have no idea).

    As an older dancer myself (and by older, I mean not college age or younger - that's "older" for a serious dance IMO), I think it's critical to be mindful of learning technique that is sound and as safe as possible biomechanically. It's a good idea for the youngsters, too, but they can get away with more sometimes.

    Your PT exercises can be good for preventative maintenance of the various areas you've injured previously, so good for you for keeping that up!
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  16. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    I think it's also on those of us that are not 19 and resilient to know our own bodies. Warm-up, cool down, and plan in enough time for rest. I also suggest learning what structural issues you're working with, and what strength/flexibility imbalances you have... then learn how to work around the structural issues and work diligently on correcting imbalances.

    For example - I have an SI joint that likes to slip and pull one of my vertebrae out of place, thanks to my iliolumbar ligament. And when that happens, the stabilizer muscles around my spine tighten up... and when I favour that side, I overwork my QL muscle which tightens and hikes my hip... which makes the SI joint less stable. And so the cycle repeats. I've sprained ankles, hurt my neck (several times), and suffered from tension headaches for years... and now I realize that it was all connected to something happening in my pelvis.

    I've been working with a chiropractor to stabilize the joint, and have had to devote some significant time to learning proper alignment to stop favouring the side that pulls - and spend some serious time in the gym to learn how to activate my glutes on that side. 18 months after learning about the issue, I still have a strength imbalance between R and L, have to really concentrate in some movements to not use the wrong muscles, and still have more extension on one side than the other, though the gap is narrowing. I also stretch/roll out some places on a near-daily basis that likely seem pretty odd to some people!

    I really couldn't have expected any dance teacher to pick up on this really complicated chain of what was happening. My basic technique was and is pretty solid, and I had a whole lifetime of compensating for a structural issue with some 'interesting' movement patterns. It's on me to put in the work to fix it, and to never, ever skip my warm-up.
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  17. Dr Dance

    Dr Dance Well-Known Member

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  18. j_alexandra

    j_alexandra Well-Known Member

    Can I like this three times?
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  19. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    Why not? Lord knows I feel like I've learned it more than 3 times!
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  20. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    Add in good massage therapy, Active release therapy, Fascial stretch therapy and neurokinetic training and you have my regimen !! I've never had an injury and this is how I prevent them whether it's dancing swimming spartan racing etc. at my advanced age of 56 . Being lean and strong is the base for all of this of course. They don't call it your core for nothing
    debmc likes this.

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