My last post was received with either sighs of relief and rounds of applause or complete derision and questions of my intelligence. No, I'm not a photographer of any kind. In fact, I'm really horrible at taking dance pictures. And no, I'm not a complete a-hole who only wants to see pictures of international finalists. In fact, I love 95% of all the pictures I see on ye olde Interwebs.
In case you thought I was looking for perfection in your social media photo posts, I will post some pictures I have on my own Facebook wall:
And my personal latest favs:
Since I'm not a 20-something, former rhythmic gymnast or prima ballerina with 10% body fat, I don't fit the "perfect" ballroom mold.
While five pregnancies (which is freakish enough) have not stopped me from getting on the competitive floor (both as a pro in pro/am and as a pro), my weight has fluctuated quite a bit over the last few years. I'm not the only pro who has gotten talked about behind the podium as being "too big" and getting marked down because of it. And that sucks. I completely understand that dancing is an "aesthetic sport" on the competitive circuit, but when your physical appearance (and not your skill) gets in the way of making the final or placing higher in it, that hurts.
But I've also heard the same situation about a "perfect" girl wearing the "wrong" dress.
There's always something we can do better. We can get in better shape, we can get a better dress, we can post better pictures for our friends to see, we can do a better promenade, we can paint our toenails a better color, we can deal with criticism better. Hopefully, we're always working on something, but hopefully, we're also happy with where we are, and how far we've come.
So take it all with a grain of salt, y'all.
Whether you're a ballroom newbie dancing in your first big competition or a pro dancing at Blackpool for the tenth time, nothing is perfect.
You might forget that Rumba is toe leads throughout.
You might accidentally kick your friend during a rondé.
You might fall down in front of the hot judge.
You might have gained 20 pounds since your last competition.
You might have to dance all 3 of your rounds back to back.
You might lose your hair extensions on the floor.
You might mess up that part that you've worked on all week.
You might get in a floor craft scuffle.
You might get nailed in head with an elbow from someone who always places right behind you.
Perfection is rare when there's two people working together in a constantly changing environment that they have little control over. It's not a problem. If you think about it really optimistically, it's part of the fun: trying to overcome all those challenges with aplomb. And while I wouldn't say I encourage you NOT to be perfect (because what crazy teacher says that?!), I encourage you to accept all the imperfections as a necessary part of learning in this never-ending school of dance.