Lots of great stuff in this thread. Esp advice about carefully assessing the true nature of relationships, and balancing friendliness with your role as the consumer/customer.
1. Start going to practice party early, and often. Forget "I don't know how to do that yet" or "waiting until I'm good enough". That's never going to happen if you keep avoiding it. And unless you are genuinely injured/ill/indisposed/desperately need a break, or have a legitimate reason (i.e. *not* just fear of the unknown, making a fool of yourself, being judged, making a mistake, etc.), do not turn down an offer for a dance. I'm talking to the gentlemen too here. If all you do is take lessons and you don't use/practice it somewhere else, you are wasting your money.
2. Looking back... try each event once (Showcase, Classic/Mini-Match, Trophy/Medal Ball, etc), even just a taste (one performance, a few heats, etc). If you don't like it, then you've done it and you can say so. But don't close off a bunch of options early when you haven't even given them a shot.
At the request of a new DFer, I'm re-starting this thread. It appears that the original must've gotten eaten, along the way, when we made one of our transitions. No worries, though, because the original thread probably wasn't nearly as good as this one is going to be. :wink:
If you had one piece of advice to give beginning dancers, what would it be?