Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Student's First Comp... Meet Ellen

I am SO EXCITED to tell you all about my dance friend Ellen! (This is big important detail about being a ballroom student... I even get to use her REAL first name!!) She has been dancing for a while now and has just decided to enter her first competition! When I found out I immediately asked her if I could put a little something up here for you all to read because I've heard a version of her story from nearly every woman that I've met at every dance studio I've been to.
Ellen and RT in serious discussion about the Competition-->

We'll start with WHY she started to dance... turns out like SO many others she wanted to meet Maks from "Dancing With the Stars" at one of the workshops he's done at FADS BG, so she met with another attendee so that she would be "MADE [to] walk through the door." Her overall opinion of her self was that she was "Rhythmically challenged but I wanted to go anyway." I say kudos to her for taking that first step!

I must have met Ellen shortly after she started, I believe it was at a party, to be honest I don't remember exactly where...but I do remember the litany of negativity that would just pour from her about her dancing skills (or lack there of...so she thought). My reoccurring thought every time I talked to her was that we needed to get her out to dance at a party or something... something to prove to her that the world wouldn't end as she knew it for getting up to dance! She would always say that simply being in the dance studio was a big step out of her social comfort zone... Well that's all well and good but there is SO much more! My first goal though was to get her to parties regularly....

Well, I did start to see Ellen at more and more parties... and I did start noticing more and more of that Cuban motion in her Rumba, and even a bit of arm styling! Over the last few months especially she has improved a TON! Captain and Jem and I have remarked on it quite a few times as we watch the floor from our seats. "Wow, check Ellen out...she's getting good!"

Ellen has also made some great dance friends, and they've helped her along in her confidence, and made the dancing fun too! When I heard she was thinking about doing a competition I'll be honest, you could have pushed me over with a feather I was so surprised she was thinking about it... but at the same time I was like a moth to a flame... telling her she had to...that it would be good for her...and fun! She had to do it for all us girls that couldn't or hadn't yet...and she HAD to let me tell you all about it! Turns out I wasn't the only one rallying in favor of the competition... I asked Ellen what the deciding factors were in her making her decision... here's what she told me:

"[KA], you, [and PC] all said it would be fun. I really had no intention of ever trying it. I can live without fun. lol Then [one of my instructors] and Jesse got in on the matter. Studio personnel had been trying for awhile to get me to compete. Nothing could change my mind. So what did? Jesse gave his speech about you can't get better unless you put yourself out there, try things out of your comfort zone. I had told him just to walk into the studio was out of my comfort zone. I am going to school for a School Administrator certificate and knew I would face situations out of my comfort zone. So I thought I would try this first.

Also I met a lot of nice people, now friends, at the studio [who compete] and they all said it was a great experience. They can't all be wrong, can they? Their support gave me the courage to try this. They all promised to help with picking out the gown, makeup, practice etc. I am counting on them. I wa
nt to do well, but still lack confidence. I am not usually like that. I have plenty of confidence in teaching. If I can do this, then anyone can. I kid that I am in the remedial dance level but that is how I feel. I Just now feel that I am at where most people start. It may take me longer, but at least I am trying it. Oh the extra benefit is that I lost around 30lbs and toned up. That makes me feel really good and helps with overall confidence.

The only complaint my husband has is that dance takes up too much of my time!"

I couldn't have written that better myself! I am also exceptionally proud to be part of the "Ellen Support Team." She's agreed to do the competition, but she hasn't quite convinced herself that she's going to do well... Let me tell you, I saw her on the floor last Friday...and she's going to do GREAT! To all those that are on the fence about doing a competition... I have to let you know that I have seen Ellen's face light up more times since she's made this decision than at any other point since she's been in the ballroom!

<---A happy student w/ one of her pros after the decision to compete is made!

Next up.... Ellen and I go get her competition dresses!

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