Ballroom Dance > What I Learned At My Last Comp

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by latingal, May 3, 2009.

  1. dncergrl2

    dncergrl2 Member

    I think what I learned is that I like showcases more than actual comps. I like having my own music that I can really get to know and interpret. I really like doing lifts and tricks that are not allowed in comps. I like having the entire floor. I like getting critiques from judges. And I like the feedback we get from the crowd. Honestly, I am nothing special at a comp, but at a show, I can really put it all out there. And its kind of a giggle when strangers remark on our dance months later. This weekend I ran into a stranger who remembered and started singing the song from our last solo. It's fun entertaining people.
  2. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    Nothing wrong with that. Do what you enjoy.

    You're probably aware of this, but many (most?) comps do have a caberet division for solos with lifts and kicks and such. USAD does for sure.
  3. IndyLady

    IndyLady Well-Known Member

    This. All of it.
    3wishes and JudeMorrigan like this.
  4. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    So ... Emerald. Lessons re-learned:

    - I can't control anything other than my own dancing. If I dance at a reasonable level relative to my own ability, I *should* consider it a successful competition. Especially when I'm having bonuses like open A competitors I don't know coming up to me after a heat to tell me how impressed they are by my dancing.
    - My brain is *way* smarter than my heart. As much as the above item is true and as much as I *know* those fields were Bananas level difficult, I still have a hard time *truly* believing it.

    Lessons learned:
    - L.A.'s Korean food off the hook.
    - Even with my shoddy French, it's kind of amazing just how much easier Paris' public transportation is to navigate than L.A.'s.

    Sania, scullystwin42, Purr and 4 others like this.
  5. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    In the words of the great John McClain "welcome to the party,pal"
    Sania likes this.
  6. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    Hard to go wrong on 8th St. except for Taco Bell.
  7. Barbitula

    Barbitula New Member

  8. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    A follow up on this: I haven't put it into action yet, but my new presentation goal is to look like I have a lot of confidence in myself and my dancing--whether or not it seems completely warranted at the moment. ;) Part of me believes I will be struck with lightning for adopting that attitude, but I haven't been yet. I have told my multitude of teachers what my new presentation goal is, they all approve, and I've been told some amusing stories of people carrying it off.
    scullystwin42, cornutt and Sania like this.
  9. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    Still processing, but:
    • I might actually be good. Evidence:
      • I actually liked my video at first viewing.
      • People I didn't know cheered for me. Apparently some stood up and cheered when we were introduced pre-quickstep (I was in my dance bubble... I didn't notice. :eggface:)
      • Pros I didn't know came up to me and said nice things.
      • The photographer took a zillion photos of me, and I didn't pay the photo fee to ensure he did... that never happens! (And there's one or two really good ones, that I think I'm going to need to buy.)
    • The mental work I've been doing has been paying off. I am learning to manage my mind, even through long breaks and significant schedule shenanigans.
    • Pro's attitude and approach day of really assists me with the above. He tried really hard to do the things we had talked about, and it helped - because his stress doesn't help keep me in the calm happy place.
    • Dancing a final when everyone on the floor is good and can actually move is SO FUN. That was the strongest field I have ever danced against, and general consensus is that the podium rivaled any open amateur one.
    • I can dance lights-out, not win, and be proud of what I put out - and make pro super proud too. (You guys, he used the word "outstanding"... he doesn't say things like that!)
    singndance, s2k, SwayWithMe and 15 others like this.
  10. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member

    Great job!
    FancyFeet likes this.
  11. scullystwin42

    scullystwin42 Well-Known Member

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  12. scullystwin42

    scullystwin42 Well-Known Member

    I learned that i improved in smooth, but not nearly as much as I expected. In fact, i was terribly disappointed in the video (results were ok, not great, but ok) UNTIL i watched the video from 6 months ago. definite improvement in fluidity, clarity. Just not matching what i feel. Rhythm went very well, but once again, last minute changes to routines are not good for me. I keep trying to roll with it, and it keeps messing me up! Also learned that i need to advertise more for my side hustle of makeup. I'm terrible at selling myself that way!
    RiseNFall, Purr and FancyFeet like this.
  13. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    That I can dance 8 rounds of smooth one day and 8 rounds of Latin the next in short time frames without a loss of energy
    And relatively high preservation of dance quality. Oh and I beat some ladies in each style who used to beat me so there's that :):)
    Purr, SwayWithMe, Sania and 4 others like this.
  14. Lai Lai

    Lai Lai Member

    That comp throws me into the great depression I can't recover for several days, and begin to philosophe about meaning of life. I've done only very few pro-am competitions, with the same result (a lot to do with seeing videos and photos of my dancing, which is nowhere near to the level where I want to be), and wondering what is the point? Why those 10 minutes of competition are worth as much as a week of vacation I return happy and energized from? What is the benefit of participating at pro-am competition? Especially, if you happen to pick a category no one else does and they award you first place out of one possible. Total rip-off. Which part you supposed to enjoy? Am I the only one who finds this Pro-Am thing very sad and hard to watch, and have a feeling that it's main reason is to make money for organizers and pros? At the same time I'm already thinking of possibly next competition. Sounds like masochism.
    Loki and FancyFeet like this.
  15. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    ^^ That's the phase I was in on the weekend.

    Mine included questions such as: "Why do I dance? What if I quit? What's the point of all this work if I can't even go after my goals? (Mine are am/am related.) Why do I foot [my portion of] the bill for pro to stay in the comp hotel and eat at restaurants while I pack a cooler and stay somewhere less ideally located and cheaper? Is this worth it?" And up in that chain of thinking is whether to do 10-dance at my next comp, designing a new costume, and thinking about dancing a show.

    I call it the post-comp letdown, and it's totally normal. This time, mine was preceded by a high, but it isn't always. I typically round back into normal when I get back in routine (so next week for me - last week was off, this week will be light (video, changing routines, priority and goal setting, etc.), and next week is back to work).
    Lai Lai, Purr, Loki and 2 others like this.
  16. s2k

    s2k Well-Known Member

    My buddies and I call this "post-comp blues."

    We have combat this for years, successfully, by doing the following:
    • Before the comp, plan an outing. We've all gone to Dave and Busters, we've gone to a wine and paint, but plan something to look forward to after the comp.
    • Don't make this comp the goal. Continue to work past this comp toward another goal further on in the future. Have a small goal you can meet at this comp that will move you further toward an overall goal.
    • We're back in the studio that very next day or that week. We take no time off because time off allows any negative seeds to sprout. Any time we take off, we take off a month or so later.
    j_alexandra likes this.
  17. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    @LL - you bring up some valid concerns and I'm reasonably sure we've all thought similar things at one time or another in the depths of Blues.

    I look at it as a question of priorities and a question of utility / value. E.g. What would I do with the $X spent on a comp or lessons or whatever? Buy another toy? Experience something else? Bank it?

    What are the benefits of competing versus not? What would I do with the time freed up by not practicing, etc.? Could I be satisfied social dancing?

    And are my expectations reasonable?

    Good luck!
    Lai Lai and raindance like this.
  18. Sania

    Sania Well-Known Member

    i also also currently dance pro am. For me:

    1) the comp is a tool / goal to focus my lessons and practice

    2) I look at each comp as an opportunity to improve my own dancing.

    3) I also look at each comp as an opportunity to perform with my pro - and that is the source of the short-term satisfaction
    blackswan, raindance and Mr 4 styles like this.
  19. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    I think what you are feeling is not unique in Pro Am but things can get better.... a whole lot better ....that's what I've learnt from my last several comps!
    Pick wisely...your pro, the competition and your goals. Working with someone who is simultaneously excellent and affordable is golden! Setting your own goals for each competition that have nothing to do with competing ( eg. What dance goals are you hoping to bring to the floor?) is rewarding. Adding a fun element to the comp.... a little sightseeing in the city, meeting up with friends, adds to the entire experience. Selecting the right comps for you....and there are a zillion to pick so important! You will find your path, but it takes time.
    Sania, Lai Lai and scullystwin42 like this.
  20. Lai Lai

    Lai Lai Member

    You all are such a nice people! :)
    My current Pro is excellent, the best one could wish for. And affordable. I am very lucky to have met him. But I can't expect him to hang out with me all the time at a comp, just because I've no friends, right?

    Still, the question remains - what is the benefit for me from a competition, (considering how many hours of lessons that could pay for)? And what are the possible goals for a competition, other than being the only option to dress up and dance outside the regular lessons? I have no interest in social dancing.

    My ultimate goal is to reach open amateur level (unreasonable goal at my age), find an amateur partner and compete in amateur category without breaking a bank. It seems that dance skills matter a little more in am/am, compare to pro/am where they care mostly about your wallet.

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