Monday, February 4, 2019

Viennese Ball 2019 (and other stuff)

I suppose I better talk about VBall first and all the other stuff second.  So let's get on with that.

Last year's post is here.  (You'll notice this was during my experimental month where I was doing all of my social media via handwritten photos, haha)  Reading over it again, I talked a little bit about how VBall seemed more tiring than I remembered, how the dance contests were as always a good opportunity to push myself, and how us waltz-types really needed to step it up because we got completely outclassed by the dancers in the swing contest =(

This year was pretty fun!  I had a hoop skirt in addition to my petticoat, omg it was so amazing, it shaped my dress so well, I love it.  I feel like this hoop skirt alone made me excited to go to the ball, lol.

I wrote last year that I felt that VBall was ceasing to be a place to catch up with many friends and acquaintances from the dance world, and I think that trend continued this year as well.  That is perhaps just a function of another year passing by, perhaps interests have changed as well as people and even if I did see some people from previous times, would I really connect with them again?  I'm not sure.  Whether I had or had not let go of those threads of fate that once bound us together.  Or were they even there in the first place?

Every time that I push myself in my dance, as I tend to do in these competitions, I find that I learn a bit more.  Not just of dance, but about many things besides.  It's a bit hard to describe, but I think every time I push myself to go further than I have before, I am able to see things from a slightly different perspective than I once did.  Dancing changes, people change, what is "good" or "not good" or "cool" changes, and we constantly redefine where we are in our search for self-expression.  Or, well, maybe that's just me being a romantic about it.

For once I felt like the waltz room was if not on equal footing, then at least in the same ballpark as the swing room, and that was something I was happy to see, given how invested I have somehow found myself in this dance form (and how unhappy I felt about it last year).  I was also really happy with how my dance has evolved in the past year.  Despite having nothing to prove, I realized in the end that I did prove something, not necessary to anybody else but rather to myself.  There are few dancers to truly look up to in our relatively eclectic form of waltz, and I have found myself wandering alone throughout the years as a result.  Though my flaws are still ever-present -- some by negligence and others by inexperience -- it is a reassuring feeling, at least for myself, looking back and seeing that after walking forward in the darkness I had reached somewhere new.

Ok, but returning to the real world for a second here, I will say one more thing about the contests -- competing in both waltz events was =exhausting=.  I feel like I am more and more worn out every time and I am definitely feeling sore from it as I write this.  I felt like I really gave it my all, and man, trying to go all out for four songs in a row of high energy rotary waltz is....just........exhausting.  My shoelace came untied in the middle of it (oops), not to mention I also somehow managed to rip the bottom part of my petticoat (ugh), and somehow my foot kept finding its way through the hole (I was wondering why I kept feeling like something was wrapped around my ankle).  So that  ...But no, really, it was actually really great, I don't think I have ever put so much emotion into performing a dance ever before compared to the preliminary rounds of the rotary waltz contest (such good songs!).

One of the songs that was danced to was "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri and though I always say the song (ironically) is one that kind of overstays its welcome (when I play it I cut out the part at 2:50, blegh), dancing to that song was not only a joy but quite interesting for me personally because I performed a choreo to it just half a year ago in July as part of Decadance's final performance ever (oh man, flash back to that performance, it really does seem like ages ago).  Part of the reason I left Decadance in the first place was to leave choreo behind and continue pursuing my greater passions in social dance, so it felt quite validating being able to directly experience that.  Dancing to the same song freely, I truly felt like I was able to put so much more into it than before.  I guess that is just the type of expression that I find myself reaching for. (quite literally, in this case...I seem to be a big fan of arm reaches lately)

Anyways, enough about that.  Contests aside, in the end it was of course just awesome being at the event with everybody, all of us putting on our best looks and fanciest clothing.  I even stopped by the contemporary room for a brief glowsticking stint as well, which was fun, and though I am not good with photos in general, I managed to get some nice ones wearing my dress, so that is quite nice!

Since we're already talking about dance, I should take the time to shill for my own event -- come to JaSmix next month on March 2nd!  We'll have workshops, a few private lesson signups, and of course awesome dancing, so come on out!  I'm pretty excited to finally be hosting a JaSmix event during the school year, since JaSmix is always a bangin time and it's a shame that a lot of folks who aren't in town over the summer months don't get to come to it.


Okay, that's all I'm going to say about dance, so if that was all you're here for, you can leave.  Bye!

In cooking news, I tried making pizza!  Followed Kenji's no knead + no stretch dough and pan pizza recipe which was not too difficult!  The result was okay, definitely could have been better, but I'd call it successful anyhow.  Topping the pizzas was of course quite fun and its definitely something I would try again, hopefully next time actually having a kitchen scale on hand to measure out the dough more accurately, and using a bit less salt, and of course perhaps experimenting with some different toppings.


I haven't caught up with all the Genesis 6 footage, but yo Axe, can we get a round of standing ovations for Axe?  That was insane, it was really something, and it honestly felt like he "won" in all of our hearts regardless of the fact that he could not overcome the GF set and took 2nd place.  Axe you have solidified yourself as the true protagonist of Melee.  We love you dude.


And pride is my sin, and pride goeth before a fall.

I'm really not the best at being a polite and friendly and respectful and outgoing person, so it's something that I have definitely sometimes just had to catch myself on in hindsight and apologize for or take back something that I said.  I think I still have the same tendency to jump to judging people rather than giving them the benefit of the doubt, to form an "us vs. them" narrative in my head rather than respect that everyone has their own story, their own path, and is trying in their own way.  But I have at least begun to see that when I break that mental narrative it really helps me feel better about the world, that we are all part of this shared human condition, and that the world is not just full of terrible people who are stupid and suck.  Really, we all are dumb in our own ways, and that should be okay.  So we need to find it in ourselves to be compassionate to others, in such that we would also learn to be compassionate to ourselves.  I have been watching Sangatsu no Lion which talks about that kind of theme a lot, and that has really resonated with me.


I am still learning how to relax.  Of course, even if I am unemployed, it's hard to take an off-season from being an adult, not to mention all of the other things I expect from myself.  I think I am no longer feeling that sort of "active" stress over all the things I have to do, in fact just a few days ago when I was really in the groove, having had a lot of fun with pixel art and even more fun with glowsticking, I thought to myself "wow, I finally did it.  I think at this moment I finally feel like life is a 5 out of 5.", and that was quite something.

That said, I have been having trouble sleeping recently (though I didn't have trouble sleeping today, hah!  VBall may be more tiring than big dance lol) and I think part of that is a latent anxiety that still lingers.  I don't know if it is just things that have been on my mind recently, like some music distribution hassle stuff and blahblah adulting real life things.  But in those hours when life is no longer around to distract, I found myself feeling a bit stressed and sad. =(  So I think despite how well I am, doing, I am still searching for peace.  Hopefully I am taking steps in the right direction...

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