Ep. 91 Politics

Good grief! Politics in dance! Is there anything in this world that doesn’t involve some type of politics?

This episode was prompted by a comment on social media where a dancer was lamenting that they could not be successful because of the politics in dance. What a powerless place to be, right?

The short answer is to let it go and focus on the things that you can control. But many of us need a little more help letting it go. So in this episode, we bring up some points that will help you come to terms with it and focus on what will really help you…be so freaking good that no one can deny your dominance!

To get personalized help, book a ⁠free ⁠⁠Dance Strategy Call⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

For more free mindset help, join my Facebook group, ⁠⁠⁠⁠Joyful Ballroom⁠⁠⁠

Hey friends, welcome to the podcast. I want to talk to you about some word switches. I’m gonna give you a couple of word switches that I want you to think about. And then I want you to think of the different word switches that you can make that are going to be more constructive for you. Now, I’m going to come back around to this and it’s going to take me a little while to get there.

But I want to share a story with you about this last weekend and my boys were wrestling in a tournament. And this is kind of where this all came up for me. And, and you’re going to probably see how my brain works, which might not make sense to you, but, I’m going to start with the story and then I’m going to come back around to word switches.

Okay. So my boys… I have four kids… I have a daughter and three boys and my younger two boys are in middle school and they wrestle. And you’ve heard me talk about this before and wrestling and track and the activities that my kids do. And I always find lessons in athletics and what my kids do. But we were at a wrestling tournament this weekend.

My boys had wrestled at middle school districts basically, and they both won in their respective weights. One’s in sixth grade, one’s in eighth grade. And so they went on to the the regional tournament, which was last weekend. So what was happening at that tournament was I was watching them and I was noticing how their skill has developed over the last five years and their confidence has changed over the last five years that they’ve been wrestling and it got me thinking.

So my husband, he wrestled starting in seventh grade and he wrestled in high school and he did reasonably well. He says that he got kind of lucky because the way that he wrestled was to just try to pin kids as soon as possible, right? Like, let me just get in there. Let me figure out what I can do. Just pin them and get that over that, get that over with as soon as possible.

He said, I wish somebody had taught me a different way. He’s like, but I didn’t really understand. So he’s been teaching our boys a different way to wrestle because in his mind, he knew that if he could not pin them right away that there must be something wrong with him. He must not be better than that wrestler.

And so that would get in his head and then he would kind of give up and he didn’t understand all the ins and outs of wrestling that he could still earn points and he could still win. So he’s been teaching our boys a different strategy. So he’s been teaching them that they need to know how to earn points and they need to know how to strategize.

So there’s certain things in wrestling that you earn points for it. And you may not really care about wrestling, but I think you’ll see where this is going, but there’s certain things that you can do that you’re important points. So for example, if you, when you lunge towards the other guy and you take him down, that’s called a takedown.

And that gets you two points. Now, if somebody takes you down and you escape from them, that’s called an escape and you get one point. So there’s all kinds of different ways that you can earn points. If you lunge towards him and you take him down, And you get, get him turned on his back. Now that is a takedown plus back points and you can get up to three back points and then you can kind of let them up and keep wrestling and get more back points.

So a takedown plus three back points is five. So he’s teaching them how to earn points, how to use different moves to try to increase that score, because if at the end of the three periods, there’s three periods that they wrestle that I think are two minutes long each and at the end of those three periods, they award a winner.

So if you have more points, you win. Or if there’s a point anywhere in that match where the point spread is big enough, I can’t remember if it’s 12 points or 15 points, and that might depend on your age and blah, blah, blah. But if the point spread is high enough, they just call it. And there was a match this weekend, a couple of them where my son was up 15, zero. And so they just call it and it’s a technical pin. So there’s other ways to win.

But when my husband was wrestling, his brain had this sense of urgency that was like, I just got to hurry and pin him. And, and, and that’s going to end the match. And that’s how I know that I’m good.

And you’ll see this in early wrestlers, this sense of urgency, this sense of like, and it’s different than just assertiveness. It’s different than aggression, right? It’s like this distrust of themselves. It’s like a distrust of their skills. It’s like, I’m not sure how this is going to go. I’m not sure who’s a better wrestler. And it totally makes sense when you’re early on in your wrestling career. Right. But my husband has taught them if you’re wrestling someone and you are able to like keep control, don’t pin them. Work the moves, practice on this live opponent and try the moves on them, earn points, strategize.

How many points do you need? And how, like, do I want to start up? Do I want to start down? And there’s reasons to choose that. So he wants them to think about it. He wants them to think critically. And if you’ve been following me at all for a while, notice how this also gives their brain tasks to work on.

So rather than just thinking about an outcome, can I win? Can I lose? Who’s better? Who’s not? Instead of focusing on the drama, he’s giving their brain a job. And he’s giving their match a job. So we’re focusing on the tasks, and we’re using each match as a tool to better ourselves. And this is the stuff that I teach you when I talk to you about being task focused instead of outcome focused.

And when I did the podcast on being the boss of your comp and using your competitions as a tool to help you improve. And so he’s doing the same thing here, right? He’s teaching their brain to focus on other things. And this keeps their anxiety down and this keeps their nerves down. So in the beginning, these boys new wrestlers, they, they have this like urgency of like not trusting themselves and they kind of run around like crazy and they just try different things.

It’s kind of like there’s thrown spaghetti at the wall and they scramble around and they try to see what works, but they just want to hurry and get it done. And, and you guys, I know you’ve seen this, you felt this, you’ve been the dancer on the floor who just like wants to hurry and dance and then get off.

Right. Or I’ve seen those dancers where I’ve watched them dance and it’s like, they don’t look like they’re enjoying themselves. They’re stressed out. And they just kind of can’t wait to get off the floor. And you know, that feeling that I’m talking about, right. And it’s this, like, I’m not sure, like, I don’t trust my ability.

Maybe I don’t trust my skills. I don’t trust my experience or, um, I’m just uncomfortable. And so I got to get out of here, right? It’s like a nervous system thing. And even in the early days, my son, as I’ve told you before, I think he would size up my 12 year old would size up his opponents and he would decide, I don’t think I can beat them.

And he would defeat himself in his head ahead of time. And then if he would get in a bad position and get on his back, then he would like freak out. Like, I don’t know if I can get out of here. I don’t think I can get out from bottom. And then he would freak out in his brain because he didn’t know how to get off his back.

Right. Okay. Now fast forward to now they’ve gotten better. It’s been five years now that they’ve been in a club where they’re getting really good training and their wrestling has completely changed. So this weekend watching them, it was so to watch them because I was just watching their wheels turn and watching their brain work and watch them strategize.

And they’re wrestling assertively, right? There’s still an urgency, but it’s not panic urgency. It’s assertive energy. It’s certainty. And so they’re wrestling aggressively. They’re wrestling assertively, but it’s with intent. And I watched their brain. They’re like looking for the right opportunity. They’re reading their opponent and they’re being a little bit more patient, actually, they’re holding back a little bit and waiting for the right moment or trying to set up the right moment so that they can get a high quality shot, which is to like lunge in and try to get that guy in a takedown, and they’re strategizing. Okay. And so they would like kind of lunge, try to take their shot.

And if it didn’t work, they would kind of back out. And so they would try these things on the opponent. And if it didn’t work, they would just pull out another move. And I can tell when they’re wrestling someone else who also has experience because that person who also has some experience isn’t necessarily going to jump on every opportunity that like my son offers.

So if my son like dives in and it’s not a great shot, that other wrestler has an opportunity to take advantage of that. But sometimes they don’t because they are also kind of watching for the best moment for them to act. It’s going to give them the greatest chance of success. And so it’s very interesting to watch a match of new wrestlers versus a match of these more seasoned wrestlers.

And there’s just this sense that, that now they’re more settled. They’re more calm. They’re assertive. They’re aggressive, but they’re, it’s different. And I kind of, um, have termed this before, like a Jedi mindset, like a Jedi is not panicky. Okay. When a Jedi goes into battle, they’re not panicking. They’re relying on what they know.

They’re relying on their skills. They’re relying on their experiences. They know that they can do what they can do, and they’re going to wait to see what is offered to them so that they know how to respond, but there is this like calmness right this like self-assuredness. And the thing about these boys with wrestling is they never know what they’re going to get. Okay. Even if they’re familiar with their opponent, they don’t know what moves are going to work or not work. They don’t know what’s going to go down. They don’t know what kind of positions they’re going to get into. They don’t know what skills they’re going to need to use from their toolbox.

They just have a toolbox full of tools and they’re just ready. For what comes and they have to figure it out as they go, they have to, there’s no real predictability in this. Okay. The only predictability they have is what they’ve practiced again and again and again, and what they know they’re good at and what they know they can try.

And when you are calm, like when your brain is in this place that’s like, not panicked, then you can think critically and you can make decisions better from that place. You can trust your training. You can trust your abilities, your skills, and your ability to figure things out. So here’s where the word switches come in.

This may or may not make sense to you how I got here, but this is where word switches come in. Because when I’m watching Newer wrestlers, I’m imagining a lot of what if questions, because when I talk to dancers, this is what I think generates a lot of anxiety. And a lot of, um, your like lack of assurance is questions like, “what if”

So the wrestlers, it sounds like: What if I get put on my back? What if they shoot and take me down? What if something unexpected happens? What if I have to wrestle blue shoes? My, my boys and my husband, they give people code names. So they’re blue shoes or they’re like cheetah singlet. So they might be thinking something like, what if I have to wrestle blue shoes?

And when we’re dancers, it sounds like: What if I forget my choreography? What if I get bumped? What if I don’t belong? What if I don’t make finals? What if I disappoint my teacher? And these, “what if” questions generate a certain emotional state? There’s a lot of questioning. There’s a lot of anxiety. There’s a lot of nervousness, and this is going to put us into fight or flight, which is going to make us want to just like, get out of here.

Okay. But what if we switched out? “What if” for “even if?” Now listen, even if I get put on my back, then what? Even if I get put on my back, I will do whatever I have to, to get off of it. Okay. I’ll roll over. I’ll try to get away. I’ll use all my escape tools. Let’s try another one. Even if they shoot and take me down, I can get a reversal and I can try to take control.

Even if something unexpected happens, I will know what to do in the moment. Notice how, “what if” feels. And how “even if” feels. As a dancer, it might sound like, even if I get bumped, I will keep going. And I will look to my partner for their communication about what to do. Even if I forget my choreography, I will listen carefully to my lead.

Even if I feel like I don’t belong, I will not shrink. I will dance with all I have. Even if I don’t make finals, I will be proud of my effort. Even if I disappoint my teacher, I don’t have to be disappointed in myself. So notice what if makes you nervous, afraid, defensive, you’re asking a hypothetical question that you’re not answering, and you’re buying the story that your brain is selling that says, there’s a lot here to be worried about, and we’re buying that hook, line, and sinker. But changing it to even if invites empowerment.

It invites taking control of the things that you can control. It makes your brain think of a contingency plan. And it reminds you that you are going to be okay. You can figure anything out. You can trust what you do know. So notice how these even if statements were followed by, I can, I will, or I know, there’s probably others, but even if something bad happens, I can, dot, dot, dot.

Even if X happens, I will, da, da, da, da, da. Even if X happens, I know, da, da, da, da, da. Okay? The way of saying this is just more empowering, it’s more assertive, it’s Self assured. So what other simple word switches can you make to change your energy from a stuck energy or from a less confident energy to a more forward moving energy and more self assured and more trusting energy?

From a not useful emotion to a more useful emotion. One of my brilliant friends who’s in Joyful Ballroom offered another little word switch that she figured out when she has thoughts about what she can’t do. Like I can’t hold my core in while I turn. I can’t figure out how to better my timing. I can’t express myself very well, or I’m not the expressive type instead of I can’t, she was switching it with what if I could? What if I could hold in my core while I turn? What if I could figure out how to better my timing? What if I was the expressive type? And what’s funny about this is, this is what if, right? It’s what if I could. But saying this opens her up to possibility instead of shutting her down and limiting her.

So you can even take this one step further, which is, I’m figuring out how to. So instead of, I can’t, we can switch it out with, I’m figuring out how to. I’m figuring out how to hold my core in when I turn. I’m figuring out my timing. I’m working on being more expressive. Your words have the power to create emotional fuel that’s going to fuel your action.

So what are your words creating? Okay, we want to entertain more thoughts that feel more calm, strategic, flexible, responsive. That’s it. Confident, ready for anything, like a seasoned dancer, like a seasoned wrestler. Listen, those wrestlers, they never know what they’re going to face. But as dancers, on the floor, with a partner, there’s actually very little that you need to be worried about.

Okay, they’re basically the things that I listed, which is like, What if I forget my choreography? What if I get bumped? Like, what if something unexpected happens? Like, that’s like the extent of it. Okay. We pretty much know how this is going to go. So we can definitely approach our dancing from a much more strategic, responsive, confident, ready for anything place.

Okay. That is the type of energy or state that we’re shooting for. So what I want you to do is I want you to watch yourself, watch yourself, think, watch your wording, be choosier about what you say. Try switching your what ifs. For even ifs, try switching your, I can’t to what if I could, or I’m working on the data.

Okay. And see how these simple word switches change your state of being, it changes the way that you feel. Try rewording things in ways that are more constructive for you. And that create more calm, more confidence and more self trust. Okay. I love you guys. Come join joyful ballroom. I’m doing a giveaway right now.

That’s this it’s March 7th as I’m recording this, and, um, it’s going to go through March 10th and it’s in joyful ballroom, my free Facebook group, and that’s the only place you can find out the details, so go join joyful ballroom today, if you haven’t yet. And I’m giving away a cool thing that I think you’re going to want.

So go check it out. Love you guys. Catch you next time.

It’s time to

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Hi there,

I'm Amber haider

As an amateur ballroom dancer myself, I understand the issues that come up for dancers, the pressures of competing, and the desire to make the most of my ballroom experience. I also really like to WIN! As a Life Coach by vocation, I have the tools to cut through the mental garbage that is holding you back so that you can maximize your potential. Using my own tools, I have been able to skyrocket my own skills, learn faster, lessen the pressure, win more and have tons more fun. I can show you the way. Here’s a couple tools to get you started:

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