New dancer and forum member.

#1
Hello everyone.

I've been looking for an online dance forum to be a part of. Glad I found this one.

I started exploring the world of ballroom dancing about a month ago. I've had no prior dance experience. I've only had a few private instructions and group classes so far. I felt a bit overwhelmed and clumsy at first, but with every lesson and practice I grow more in confidence.

I was looking for a new interest to grow with. To be a part of a community. Something interactive. A friend mentioned ballroom dancing and so I just went with it. I didn't really know what to expect and it was beyond my comfort zone, but I'm glad I did it.

It's hard work and lot's of practice, but it's definitely rewarding and fun. I'm not sure how far I can go or if I want to compete in the future, but I'm giving it my all and I'm curious to find out.

Most of my relationships have been ending or moving on. I'm single and the only other thing in my life that takes up time is my full time job. So I'm pouring most of my focus into this.

I'm creating a new life for myself. I want to put myself in situations where things can happen. Where new things and relationships can grow.

At the studio I'm surrounded by amazing, positive, and supportive people. I want to do my best and gain the skills necessary for me to be able to give back to this community. To be able to contribute. To share the struggles and the victories.

I was very happy when I was able to do a boxstep and lasted a whole song doing it. I enjoy learning the basics.

Dancing has helped me express myself. It helps me become more of the better person that I want to be. I'm failing while doing something interesting. Something that has no guarantees and might not work. I'm facing fears and uncertainties.

I have the feeling of not wanting to let down all the people that has been helping me and investing in me. I want to attain the skills necessary to participate. I have the desire to be noticed and applauded.

My forum name is entheos. It's the greek word for enthusiasm. It translates to "the god within". When you feel enthusiasm, that's when you're closest to your best and most powerful self. Entheos is what I feel for ballroom dancing.

I'm curious to see how far I can go, how much I will continue to grow as a person, and all the interesting people I'll meet along the way.

I look forward to participating in this forum and asking a lot of questions as time goes on.

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Right now I'm able to do 1 private class and 1 group class per week (1 hour each). On weekdays I practice about 2 hours a day. On weekends outside of studio instruction I practice around 3-4 hours a day.

I also learn from online instructional videos (good ones, not random youtube clips) to learn things the studio hasn't introduced to me yet. I realize that what the studio will teach me might end up different, but I can at least get familiar with various techniques.

A little test I like to give myself to see if I've got what I learned so far down pat is I freestyle the various techniques for that dance style for about 30 minutes.

I love taking notes after each studio class and practicing as soon as I get home in order to memorize what I learned that day.

Any advice on training / studying is welcome. I'm not sure how much dancers usually practice for.
 
#4
Thank you for the welcome.

No matter what problems or fears I come across, it helps knowing that everyone has faced the same problems and fears at some point. Everyone starts as a beginner.

I'm starting this in my 30s, but everyone has different life circumstances and I shouldn't compare with others.

I'll have to keep reminding myself that finding a craft that I want to immerse myself in and having the opportunity in life to do so is a privilege. There's many things to be grateful for and that leads to me wanting to make the most of it. I won't focus on petty things. No matter what happens throughout this journey, it's all just a bonus. Learning ballroom dancing and being able to afford to do so makes me feel very wealthy and blessed. It's like the grocery store running out of your favorite snack, but you still have enough food to be satisfied... or coming in last place in a competition, but you're wearing a fancy tuxedo / dress in a ballroom. I'm coming from a place of already being enough. Already full. I'll work hard for the sake of appreciation and gratitude for what I'm learning and the community that supports it.

I get to feel like a child again with the wisdom of an adult.

Yay.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#5
Cool. Welcome to DF!

entheos. It's the greek word for enthusiasm. It translates to "the god within"
Interesting (to me at least) to note that "namaste" commonly is translated to "I bow to the divine in you."

You probably won't hear much from me, because I claim zero "ballroom" knowledge, but I'll be reading your posts and sharing your enthusiasm.
 
#6
That's interesting to me as well. Nice to know the meaning behind that word. So i looked a bit further into it.

I found this = What is a good reply to Namaste? Namaha means bow and te is you, and there is a grammatical sandhi happening when namaha and te fuse resulting in nama - s - te. So when they greet you with namaste they are seeking your blessings. You can respond to them by saying "Sukhino Bhava" which means be happy or "I wish you happiness".

So by saying namaste, you're actually seeking blessing from the other person's highest or best self. Something like that anyways.

Another great word with old origins is the word inspiration. It has many origins such as "immediate influence of god or a god" / "breathe life into" / "infuse animation" / "impart reason to a human soul".

So inspiration is about something or someone making a person feel alive. That kind of ties into the other two words, namaste (about the divine) and entheos (also about your higher self).

What I can conclude from this, is people back in the day thought that the best thing you could do is answer the call of what energizes you and makes you feel alive. In turn, you yourself are able to breathe life into and bring out the best in others.
 

FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
#8
I'm starting this in my 30s, but everyone has different life circumstances and I shouldn't compare with others.
Just wanted to make a point of saying that even starting in your 30s, it's possible to get quite good - and maybe even better than you imagine you could ever be.

Welcome. Work hard, watch, listen, practice, and enjoy - and make sure you build in time for your body to recover and your mind to rest. A night out at the movies with friends every week or two won't derail your progress, will help you keep perspective, and may go a long way to preventing burnout... all of which will keep you dancing longer :)
 

Larinda McRaven

Site Moderator
Staff member
#9
Interesting (to me at least) to note that "namaste" commonly is translated to "I bow to the divine in you."
We use "sat nam" instead of namaste as an interpersonal greeting (as well as a myriad of other uses) and that translates to "true you". Basically saying the same thing... I recognize the divinity in you.

And with sukhino bhavan I think you need to use the "antu" to project the sentiment outwards, towards another person...? no?

Anyway... welcome to DF. Hope you enjoy your travels here.
 
#12
entheos, welcome!

I started dancing in my 40s, so you are definitely way ahead of me!

And this year, I competed at Harvard Invitational and MIT open, against hundred couples of college "kids". And made to finals both time, although it was at a pretty low level - silver. Still that gave me confidence that I could dance ok, even almost at 50 years old.

I am very jealously of your ample practice time. I struggle mightily, try to find even 10 hours per week to dance, with career/work, family/kids, I am trying very hard to find a balance.

One more thing, videos watching are very inspirational for me. But dance is magic, what you see are usually the results of ten or twenty years of hard work, as a beginner, probably safer to always ask your teacher.
 
#13
All the partners I've been with so far have years of experience.

I know it's okay to be clumsy and get stuck on some parts, but it sucks when I can't lead properly. Maybe I'm just being a perfectionist, but also because I want my partner to have a good leader.

On the one hand it's no good being so hard on myself especially as a beginner, but it's also a good motivator to get things right for next time.

I think I'm being too apologetic for each mistake as well. "Oops' and "sorry" type of comments every time I mess something up.

It's not a big deal. My partners have enjoyed dancing with me. This is more just for a mental side of things.

What's your opinion on this?

Ladies = What's it like for you dancing with someone far below your skill level?
 

RiseNFall

Well-Known Member
#14
I am perfectly happy to dance with somebody far below my level. I always ask beginning leaders to dance when I notice them for a variety of reasons. I do try to convince them that they don't need to apologize so much. ;-)

In case you haven't found all of the threads about this, you don't need to worry about the number of different steps that you do: we really, truly don't care.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#15
I think that while some new ladies and even some intermediate ladies may have frustrations with less advanced leads, once a lady is at an advanced level, she isn't rattled or troubled by someone elses' limitations when dancing with them... nor does she expect a great dance every time...particularly not in a social setting
 

danceronice

Well-Known Member
#16
My biggest complaint is when they keep apologizing! Please don't. Everyone at some point was a pain to social-dance with. If you're a lead at some point you were a new lead who knew maybe two figures, if you're a follow at some point you were a sack of potatoes being hauled around the floor. No one worth dancing with is judging you for anything unless you're being creepy (and that's as in groping.)
 
#18
Ladies = What's it like for you dancing with someone far below your skill level?
Enthusiasm.

That, combined with willingness to work at it and potential for improvement and you're golden. Welcome to DF!

And one other thing that makes dancing with a less skilled partner enjoyable is if they are able to accept their own mistakes with gentleness toward themselves, not become paralyzed with self criticism. You seem to have this trait. That will help you learn.
 
#19
Thanks flying_backwards.

Learning from the people on this forum and immersing myself into this new world helps me become a better person.

I'm going into this whole thing with curiosity and openness.

I never watched the all the dancing shows on tv. I never saw any video or movie on dancing that inspired me. I didn't enjoy dancing back when it was taught in school.

My only fond dancing memory was a waltz and swing that my childhood friends and I had to self teach and choreograph ourselves for a special event our parents did when we were all younger. I didn't really think of exploring it more until recently (around 8 years later).

So my heroes right now are the people in the studio. Adults, teens, and little kids dancing around the studio.

It's been a fun and rewarding ride so far.
 

ralf

Active Member
#20
I tell beginner follows who start apologizing for every (perceived) missed lead that they only need to say "Sorry" if I say "Ow". Half the time they did the move right anyway, it was just unfamiliar to them....
 

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