The Darker Side of DanceSport

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It’s funny how things always seems better inside of our own minds and daydreams, but what if I told you I was actually LIVING my dream. Well, that is to say I’m in the process of fulfillment. I think as dancers sometimes we forget the existence of the outside world, that black hole of space as we commonly know as, “the vortex of unknown danger beyond the dance world.”

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But, wait a moment, let’s take it back for a second. Back to a distant far away pla… (Ok, well it’s not really a place), but “Back in time, without adding any fluff” as the young kids say these days. A year ago I was in, what I thought at the time, the exact place I should have been. Competing, training, improving; standard rinse and repeat. Autopilot on steroids. And then I had to make the most difficult and life altering decision in my career. I decided to end my partnership with an amazing woman who I grew up with and who had witnessed all of my highs and lows, both visible and invisible. I was then forced to embark on a new trip in life, which is the dirty phrase we know as: Partner Search.

Fast forward back to present day and I find myself still in a scouring search. However, what I was originally looking for has drastically changed, and thankfully for the better. Now, just before you question the relevancy of my words or ponder on the destination of this short journey that we have embarked on together; listen. I’m here to tell you the grass is greener on the darker side. No, not Darth Vader style (Even though I share the same silkily sexy voice), but the path less trodden. Not the things we do or see, but those that we don’t. DanceSport DanceSport

It took great loss and personal struggle within me to gain what I can only describe as a new vision, reborn perspective, an epiphany of objectiveness. I saw within myself and my dancing, and I became aware of some things that were surprising and the opposite of “pretty”. But from a growth period and time of inspirational repair, I discovered something truly great that I would like to share.

I met people who I would have never regularly approached, seen through their eyes or learned from. As an individual and a human being, and not just as a dancer.Dancing for me then evolved into something more extraordinary, it became movement. Not only a Rumba Walk or a Natural Turn, but freedom of expression; not a limited approach but a process of open mindedness and innovation. Flowing, vibrating, breathing, living. Beyond the realm of our usual patterns of motion, and approaching with an alternative creative notion. Use of momentum to the highest degree, balance, trajectory, even music became the study of instruments and the texture of violin strings instead of a sound or a simple count. DanceSport DanceSport

True passion which I ignorantly overlooked, as I believe many of us dancers do at some point or other. There is no action truer to fact and more honest than listening to somehow speak in detail about the love of their art. Where is that passion in our dancing communities? I hear constant talk of results and judges and all kinds of conspiracy theories, who’s dancing with who and incredible injustices. Our teachers are better than yours, your methods are heinously incorrect when ours are flawless, being closed to new ideas. Our true creativity on the practice floor during those late nights when everyone has long since left, not managing to make it into the competition spotlight. The most talented dancers being ruined by what they do off of the parquet instead of on the parquet. The most daring and ingenious people in our craft, only making a final instead of winning the championship. Where conforming or “playing politics” or picking teams are more a topic of discussion than basics and personal development.

So my friends, the most difficult and harsh predicament in my career led me onto a new undiscovered path. A new me and a new passion for something I had started at 6 years of age, yet have only sincerely appreciated for the last 6 months. Each practice being a new moment to discover, viewing each couple as a new possibility to learn about people and movement. I’ve unearthed an thirst and hunger for life and of learning dancing that is fuelled by positive sources, the sustainable type that my new partner will share in the very near future when I find her. Because if a partnership is not built on mutual cultivation of body, mind and creative dancing soul… Then, what kind of partnership is it? DanceSport DanceSport

And so I raise a figurative glass to you and I toast to all of us finding our inspiration and passion for dancing; a glass of water that is for rehydration after practice instead of a cup of wine for your sorrows.

Author: Daniel Studenny
Photography: DanceSport
Exclusively for Dance Comp Review