I've had a few students ask me if I'm on a performance team.
Yes, I have been on a performance team before. I've had about five years' worth of experience in them. I vividly remember how I was recruited while in San Francisco, via voicemail, circa late October, 2008:
We're doing a demo on Halloween; first rehearsal is tomorrow night. [I'm given the address and time to meet.] See you there.
What I first thought would be a one-time "just for kicks" demo turned into a five-year journey; four in San Francisco, one in Corvallis. I learned a lot about Rueda de Casino while being in that situation. Surprisingly (actually, I shouldn't be surprised but I am anyway), I learned a lot about myself in the process, as well.
To be totally honest, I really didn't get it during my first four years performing. If you happen to find any videos of me performing prior to April 2012, you'll see that I really wasn't having a good time. Hindsight is always 20/20; it's easy to see I was just too damn intense for my own good.
Whether it be via finally getting rid of toxic influences in my life, experiencing an epiphany, a combination of both, or the former leading to the latter, I finally realized the mindset of a good performer: make sure you're actually having fun! Luckily, I was able to put that to use during my one-year tenure with Rumbanana. However, I also realized that after 5 years of several factors that are way too long to list, I was pretty much done. I have no desire to perform anymore.
Actually, here's something more concrete. A couple months ago, my friend, Shannon, asked me if I'd ever join a performance team again. My response:
No. I do appreciate what I've been taught while being on a performance team, but I didn't get into this [Casino] to perform. I got into this so I can go out at night and have a good time... and to dance with cute brunettes in ponytails.*
It took a while for me to remember why I grew to love Casino Salsa. Sure, I'll do the occasional demo; speaking of which, I've already done a few since leaving an actual performance team: a couple for fundraisers, and a couple more to promote my Beginning Classes. However, I can't and won't lose my perspective anymore.
*Shannon was in a ponytail that night.
The philosophy behind good social dancing, leading, following, and topics that discuss more than just Salsa Cubana.