Getting ready for Disneyland is one of the most exciting trips anyone can take. It's already the most magical place on earth, but going as an adult is even more rewarding. I always feel like the week of the trip is a bit stressful. Usually I'm busy making sure I have the clothing, my pets have their sitters, I've got the right walking shoes (cause I'm gonna walk a lot) and the cameras are charged and ready for lots of photo and video. When I arrive, it's heaven and typically more than I imagined it would be. Amazing!
When I get back home, I'm on a high and can't wait until I get to go on the ride again. Even to the point where I'm planning the next time I can go and with whom. It's crazy how an event like going to Disneyland can take me through such emotions. It's even crazier to analyze what it really does. Events are like these trips. They take you through every emotion only to end with a high and anticipation of doing it again. If you know what you're looking for, you can anticipate what you'll go through so that you can plan for any pitfalls that may come your way. So here are the 4 stages of an event for the next time you go to a Dance O Rama, Wedding, Showcase, Group or Party.
Stage 1: Stress
The first stage to every event is the Stress Stage. In this stage, you're usually nervous and stressed about what's to come. Usually you don't feel ready for the event or are unsure of expectations. As a result, this uncertainty can cause stress. If you think of the end result, you typically are ready by the time the event comes. You also are o.k. if you you forget a thing or two. In the analogy of Disneyland, do you ever really get stressed that you forgot your sweater because it's colder than you thought? Of course you do, but you end up buying a souvenir to take home. So in the end aren't you really o.k? Of course you are. So if you could imagine the end result as You being o.k. with whatever happens, could that help you stress less about forgetting something or not being ready? Of course it can.
Stage 2: Excited
The second stage usually happens at the event. Every event (if done for the first time) could be a bit overwhelming in the beginning, but only because you're entering the environment for the first time. Given time, you accustom your self to your surroundings and begin to settle in. That's when your excited emotions kick in. You're in it and happy and immersed in a toxic room of happy people with great music. It's infectious and with your heart racing, you will usually be positively stimulated simply because that's what an Arthur Murray event does. Enjoy this moment. Ride it for all it's worth. Allow yourself to be in the moment because eventually we go into the next stage.
Stage 3: Frustration
This is the stage that everyone dreads. No matter what you do, it's always hard to get around. You dance your number, you felt great, but then you start to think. And your mind is what gets you in trouble. You start thinking about what you missed and how you forgot to put your arm out. You think about the timing you forgot or step that went wrong. You watched your video afterwards (hint: don't watch your video afterwards) and you start to analyze how you could be better or compare yourself to others. Want a solution? STOP IT! Turn your brain off. This is not the moment to focus on what if's. Your emotions are high and you have a distorted view of reality. It's the time to think about getting changed for your next number or moving on to the next heat. It's the time to cheer for your fellow dancers and get wrapped up in the music surrounding you. There will be time to sulk, I promise. Just do me a favor, do it after the event.
Stage 4: High
After the event, you feel great! You almost wish you could do it all over again. All that hard work and preparation and now it's over. What a ride! The after effects of the event leave you with a fun sensation. You remember about the time you danced and everyone cheered. You remember moments like screaming for your teachers or jokes that were made on Bus 4. You remember your peers and the community. You go to work the next day and have a slight fog because you can't believe it's over. This is one of my favorite stages because it's the perfect time to reminisce and enjoy your accomplishments. Soon you'll be able to start thinking about what's next and how you can plan to do this again.
Stage 5: Reflect
The last stage is a reflection period. When you're removed from the event far enough, you can think about it with a clear mind. Did that miss of a step really last a lifetime or was a blip on the screen? Ws not putting your arm in the right place as horrible as you thought it was the day of or could you work on raising it a bit higher? When the dust has settled and the magic of the event is gone, you can reflect subjectively at what you think are mistakes and see them as opportunities to grow and be better. True, you could have a better dance position and frame. True, you could have more hip motion even though you thought you were doing a lot at the time. However, now, you can also see yourself working on it rather than just say "I'll never do Rumba again!" Because then, Rumba would just be sad that you aren't playing with her anymore. And we don't want Rumba to be sad, do we?
The Magic of an event is truly magical. What else could take you through such great emotions? The vent could be your Wedding, a Showcase a Dance O Rama or even an Office Party. The next time you go to an event, remember the stages you will go through. Anticipate that these thoughts will come through your head and cut them off at the pass. And no, the answer isn't I'll never go to an event because that's just ludicrous. That's like saying I'll never drink water again. Events are necessary to our growth and the lifeblood of our motivation. The correct answer is Bring it on! I know what you're gonna do and I'm ready for you! In the end, you'll be amazed at how you handled it all and each event will bring new accomplishments to help send your dancing soaring!