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Striking Balance at Blast

By Patrick Severin

I've been competing in ballroom for a while now, and I'll admit that it's been a tumultuous experience. I love dance, and I love getting better at it, but the process of improving can easily slip into fixating on your weaker areas, giving only the barest acknowledgment to your strengths.

"Yeah, well, that's how it should be. Look at all this stuff I'm still doing wrong."

Do that to yourself enough, and you start to wonder why you're doing this at all (whatever this is to you—for me, it's dancing).

Minnesota Ballroom Blast took place at the end of October. It was my third competition (or more accurately, competition-like event), and standing on deck right before bronze rhythm cha cha, I noticed something different from every other performance I've done: my hands weren't shaking. We walked out and started dancing, and I didn't need to think about smiling; it just happened.

I was—hope you're sitting down for this—having fun with it.

What changed? I honestly couldn't say. Different partners? Different attitude? The experience that comes over time? No clue. What I can say is, whatever your passion is, whatever you want to be when you grow up, stick with it. Give yourself credit where it's due, and give yourself time to grow. Keep walking, and you're bound to get where you're headed. I'm not there yet, but I have a feeling that the weather's going to be a little nicer these days. I've got my footing, and I'm ready to go.