Rachel Brice so earnestly said to me, “You’re not done one minute before you are done. Not one minute, one second, one hour.” These words still echo in my brain when the moment I realize, something is actually over. In all fairness she was giving me dating relationship advice but it seems to apply to all relationships really.
I’ve had two dance teachers the end moment has been particularly painful for and one where it was just down right traumatizing, because I wasn’t done yet. The Lady Brice had to go off and be famous. (If you want to know that story I made a documentary about it. You can watch for yourself.)
As for the other two, I left them, so they get a blog.
The first was really hard because I told him it was over in person. I didn’t tell him I was leaving for the actual reasons that I was leaving and I think he knew I was lying. I didn’t have it in me to say to his face that I was feeling more and more like I was just being hustled and his dancing wasn’t up to the level that he thought it was. He was pushing me in a direction that I really didn’t want to go, he wasn’t listening to me asking him to stop and his agenda mixed with his ego was becoming toxic.
At a small amateur event, he was approached by some judges while we were coming off the floor. Someone who knew him called him out as a Pro while dancing with me. I was so new to ballroom I had no idea what he was doing was really bad. He claimed ignorance and the smooth talker explained his membership expired so technically he wasn’t a pro and he got away with it; with the officials, not with me. I didn’t understand if there was a question, why didn’t he ask someone. There were so many people he could have asked. My trust was gone and the veil lifted.
I told him I couldn’t dance for a while because I needed to focus on recovery from my injury. My terrible back. Which is true, but I promised to come back when I was healed. Oops.
The simple: I have what I call a “love tank”. It doesn’t take a lot to fill the “love tank”. Any gesture of return fills the “love tank” back up to full. I’ll put up with you showing up late. I’ll put up with the constant rearranging of schedules. I’ll meet you in the crappiest part of town because it’s more convenient for you and the floor fees are less. I’ll drive to Santa Monica from Glendale for a lesson every once in a while because you have a rich client that will inevitably give me stink eye. But when you don’t show up to a standing lesson that has been happening for three years with no word of when you will be back. DONE.
The Complicated: I was really starting to think that he didn’t want to teach me any more. I wasn’t sure if it was because his bride to be didn’t like me or if, as he had said, which I thought was a joke at the time, “I’m running out of things to teach you.” That statement did three things: one, make me laugh. Two, give us an agenda. I started to learn how to lead. And three, put in my mind the seed that grew into a terrible thought. “Are you just a really expensive practice partner then?”. Which grew into another terrible thought, “I have to pay someone to practice with me?” and that thought was so damaging to my self worth.
When I got an email saying that he was back in town, I emailed him back explaining that since I didn’t know when he was coming back I started up with another teacher and was enjoying it so much that I wanted to continue with them for a few months but that when I was finished I’d get in touch. I never did.