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posted on 22 November 2017

It's Never Too Late to Dance II

Written by

In January 2016, I published my first article on the subject (It's never too late to dance!), summarizing my first year of competitive dancing. This is act II, summarizing my journey over the past two years.

1. Results and progression

I am result-oriented. So let me highlight my progression in three videos.

1.1 Studio showcase (December 11, 2016)

1.2 Studio showcase (May 21, 2017)

1.3 Studio medal test (June 24, 2017)

2. Competitive dancing and me

Below is my way in competitive dancing:

  1. Aim high: Early and quick, I identified a high-aim target: George, the best competitive [male] dancer in the studio. He had been dancing for some six years before I started. Besides, he is seven years younger than me. So he was obviously a challenging target.
  2. Focus: Aside from at least matching George's effort (e.g. three private lessons a week), I took a very different approach: I focused on the fundamentals (e.g. foot work, posture, and rib cages) and avoided frequent competitions, while he chose to compete at least twice a year, which meant he never had the time to work on the fundamentals, let alone fixing some bad habits from the past.

As a result, not only did I progress very fast, I actually surpassed George by June 2017! Two examples:

  1. Smooth: At the studio's medal test, George and I danced the same routines in Waltz and Tango. I was obviously better, with the official proof coming soon afterward.
  2. Rhythm: I advanced to the Silver level, while he remained at Bronze.

Unfortunately, that was also practically the final straw in my association with the studio, whose survival, in any sense of competitive (vs. social) dancing, depends almost solely on George, a selfless student.

On August 1, 2017, I said good-bye to my long-time (i.e. two and a half years) beloved instructor, Lauren, and left the studio for good, knowing exactly

  1. Where to go next: My Dance Hub, just a few blocks away.
  2. What to do next: Beating George at the forthcoming Harvest Moon Ball Dance Championships.

3. MDH - My Dance Hub

On August 2, 2017, I showed up at MDH (www.mydancehub.com/) and was warmly welcomed by its owner, Jaana Lillemagi.

Jaana is a very accomplished dancer and a very experienced instructor, perfect for me to reach the next level. Very importantly to me, Jaana is a very successful business owner, just like me, and we have shared commonsense and understanding of almost everything.

Upon a quick assessment, Jaana concluded that

  1. "Frank, you were well coached." Thank you, Lauren!
  2. I am a diamond in the rough, with huge potential.

With Jaana, I have simply excelled! After quickly improving my Waltz and Tango, we added two brand new routines: Foxtrot and Viennese Waltz, ready for the Harvest Moon ...

4. Harvest Moon

At the Harvest Moon, I was very glad to see George and Lauren, competing face-to-face for the first time, ever.

I did take care of the business by beating George 5:3 (i.e. I beat him 5 times and he beat me 3 times). I should have swept, had I not had a horrendous start in the first round.

I danced better and better as the day went on, ultimately becoming a champion, as shown by the two images below!

Now, two videos from the Harvest Moon ...

4.1 4-dance video

4.2 3-dance video

5. What's next?

At MDH, I have already identified the new high-aim target: Steve. He has been dancing for five years, and has already competed at the national level. So it's a challenging target, just right for the ambitious me. Besides, Steve is three months older than me. So there is absolutely no excuse for me not to catch up with him, within two years!

Will the friendly competition between Steve and me stir up studio politics? No, I do not think so. Why not? We are all very successful people, totally secure, while dancing competitively for fun!

6. Closing

Dancing has brought the best out of me (e.g. aim high and focus), adding a totally new dimension to my interesting life (My American Dream Has Come True).

I plan to dance competitively well into retirement ...

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