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"The stage is set, the curtain rises, we're ready to begin."

Life changes and so do our paths

Into Every Life Rain Must Fall…

Hello again….

I wish I could say my momentum kept going after Monsters Ball. That I jumped right back on that horse and kept pushing forward. But, as with everything in life…when something good happens, something else must fall apart. For me that’s usually the M.O. of my life. Instead of it only happening once…this one kept rolling all week. Now I’m facing the very real possibility that my dance days are numbered.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a single mom. So I’ve learned to make a penny stretch and Ramen has become a great food in my household during those tough times. So while I’ve dealt with every thing a single mom could face… I’ve never in my life dealt with a payroll check bouncing in my account and causing a huge screw up in my life. While I could’ve bounced back quickly from it thanks to my employer fixing it as fast as they could and even paying my over draft fees. Not bad right? lol…Yeah. I wish. They knew my next check bounced as well. So my life was perfect for 30 minutes. Needless to say… I was stressed!

So Monday I missed group class…. I wasn’t worried cause they didn’t even put out a schedule yet so no one knew what we were doing. But Monday’s nightmare turned to Tuesday and so on. I’ve been treated like crap for demanding my pay to be fixed and here we are at Friday and I’ve not danced at all this week. Not even at work. It’s just not in me.

So I’m waiting to see what Monday brings but honestly… I’m not so sure I will be making it to class. It just seems as if when I’m truly happy with something, everything else falls apart. But such is life right?

So say a lil’ prayer for me… And I’ll say one for you. Cause I could use some good news in my days.

Till next time,

Sol

A Monster of a Ball…..

Hello friend,

I have two words that keep running circles in my head…. I survived. Dear God…I survived!

I don’t know how I did it and I’m thankful to whichever sibling’s spirit was with me while I danced cause my I didn’t think I would pull it off. But here I am…the morning after and I’m blasting music in my ears of possible future solos and hungry for more.

Yeah…I said it…lol. I want MORE!

This week didn’t start the way I wanted. Actually, for the past two weeks it’s not been great. Between the depression, as well as my anxiety shooting through the roof, I also had my ankle to deal with. I was already doubting my sanity as is when I did a common and stupid move I tend to do with my feet. I turned quickly to the left and didn’t pick up my damned left foot… I knew the minute I did I messed up big time. I tugged something and when I put weight on it I about cried. But being the medical person I am, I simply put icy hot on it and a compression bandage and kept going. Not smart…I know…but I was determined not to quit.

So I made it through group class on Monday doing Bachata and while it hurt I kept going. I iced it down regularly and went the next day to my final dress rehearsal. Nothing makes you more anxious than seeing your instructors look at your ankle wrapped and get a wide eyed look on their face. Yeah… I’m insane… I told them to not think about it and let’s keep moving. Tavier took it easy on me and we ran through my solo several more times as well as our heats.

I left there scared I would fail even when I got the routine perfect. Cause just like all the characters I’m drawn to in romance novels, I have a horrible self worth issues. Tavier kept telling me I was doing great and all I heard was my exes words floating around in my head that I was a lacking. I know now, I am good enough at this… I didn’t fail. Thank God!

As if there wasn’t enough stress and doubt going on in my life… I have a childish co-worker to deal with and a boss who headed out of town leaving me in charge right before the Ball. lol…Yeah, no pressure whatsoever. I also decided to be ballsy and make the decision prior to her leaving to say that I would work 20 hours straight to be able to have off yesterday for the event. lmao…yeah, I’m suicidal sometimes like that. I kept practicing while cleaning at work. I even showed my lil’ lady my solo. I was determined to get this right. So 20 hours and 5 hours of sleep… it was time to run around and get everything I needed at the last minute. (Like I said, ballsy or stupid..lol)

In 8 hours I manged to get my hair and makeup professionally done as well as find a seamstress to make a minor alteration to my dress. Did mommy things like grab my youngest son’ new shoes and pick both boys up early from school while in my smooth style outfit. On top of all that I was watching the mail like a hawk cause my dance shoes were about to be delivered from China just in time for my performance. Finally after all was said and done…It was time to drive to the studio in rush hour traffic…fun times. All while not eating once cause of nerves. Yeah… Not I’m not bright but I’m an nineteen year nurses aid… My body is use to this kind of stupidity, lol.

So once I got to the studio I knew I would be OK. I’m a Chicana and highly superstitious, I knew both my brother and sister’s spirits were with me and calming me a bit. I knew I would survive this… as long as my stupid ankle didn’t give out (which was iffy since they didn’t like my new dance shoes) and Tavier was like a soothing balm for me. The minute we did get on the floor for the first heat of the Waltz he simply swayed with me for a few second to help me calm my soul.

We made it through three heats before it was time for my Lindy Hop solo… I begged Tavier to give me a sign to start our entry, which I ended up not needing, and before I knew it…we were done. Not one hiccup or missed step. I almost cried… My ankle didn’t give out and I didn’t let my partner down. There is a God and he made sure I didn’t let myself or anyone else down. For that, I will always be thankful.

My ankle finally warned me that I was about done when we got to our Merengue heat. I signaled my son to find my Mary Jane heels and Tavier did a slower and sexier Merengue as well as a Bachata with me. Which about fried my senses cause I’d never danced that close to him and he’s hella cute. But the whole time he whispered to me that he would let Darren (my other dance partner) know not to do too many turns during our heats. Prior to the Ball I was considering leaving the studio but at that moment I realized I could never leave this man… He is my savior.

Two Waltzes, one Rhumba, Two back to back Hustles, Bachatas and Lindy Hops, One Merengue heats and five hours later… Monsters Ball has come to a close. I didn’t win anything from our voting but in my heart I won the world. I may never be good enough for someone else… I am good enough for me. I believe in love and romance. I believe in a higher power. But most of all I believe in the healing power of Ballroom dancing!

I have the blurry pics and videos to boast about my minor accomplishments on Facebook and most of all… I have the faith in myself! I CAN do this and this is just the beginning. I know next year I will be ready for Vegas competitions and best of all… I wont ever quit dancing.

So that my friend was one monster of a Ball…

I hope you all have a great Samhuinn/Halloween and may your littles get lots of goodies.. Much love to you all!

Love,

Sol

And then there was one….

Hello again friend….

It’s late and I’m still winding down from Samba class…. No kids at home tonight…so I figured I would drop a line.

This past weekend as well as this week has been such a boost to me. With one week left till Monster’s Ball I’ve really set my anxiety to the max. But the hardest and most beneficial thing I could’ve done was be honest with my instructors about emotional pain and my doubts. It took just one of them to see it… I didn’t even have to say anything. Sunny, one of the many incredibly caring dance pro’s, looked into my eyes and said, “What’s happening? What’s going on with my sunshine?”

Let me tell you… I’d never had someone see me. Look in my eyes and see every emotion I was feeling in a split second. It felt freeing to admit to my instructors that I almost quit… That I’m scared out of my mind about performing… But worst of all, that I allowed someone to yet again question my self worth. These talented people could’ve told me it wasn’t their job or that they didn’t care…. But they rallied around me. So did some of my classmates.

While some people may think I’m crazy for wasting my money on ballroom dancing and that I could be doing so many other things. I know deep down if it weren’t for this group encouraging me and loving me…I wouldn’t be where I am right now. Ready to be the ONLY bronze level student busting out the Lindy Hop!!

So while I am still scared shitless (Pardon my french) I am damned ready to do this! I will prove to myself that it may have only taken me 6+ years to damn well chase my dreams…but guess what?! Dreams don’t have expiration dates on them!

So say a lil’ prayer for me, and for my KC Royals, that we both don’t choke up… One week and counting….I’m ready to take the crown baby!!

Till next time friend….

Love,

Sol

And I amost quit…

Hello friend,

I know it’s been a little while. Honestly I felt like I wasn’t able to put into words what I wanted to say, so as with so much in my life, I quit writing in my blog. But as a beautiful person told me recently (Thank you, Stef!) I just need to write how I was feeling…not worry about it being perfect. So here we go. ūüôā

I’ve made it through my beginners dance classes as of September and jumped right into Bronze 1. No pre-bronze for me I guess. I seem to be better at Waltz, Merengue, Bachata, Swing, and Foxtrot so far. With Arthur Murray they had me pick my dances I wanted to master in and those are my best so far and thanks to my awesome instructor I feel like I can master them all.¬† I am even doing my first solo performance for our Monster’s Ball.

Just when I was getting everything right with dance..everything in my personal life came crumbling down. I’m still picking up the pieces. As usual…

I’ve even become quieter about my dances on FB cause I’ve been feeling like a failure at the same time. I know it’s nothing I’m doing in dance, it’s just me.

I recently went through a bad breakup in May and that stretched into June (He said he didn’t want to lose me) and when I started ballroom dancing it was a way to get past it. Well, needless to say I’m fool and took him back a third time…Only for him to tell me that socially, educationally, and spiritually we weren’t equal…but that he would always love me and wish me nothing but happiness. This hurt me more than I was prepared for….Just another person in my life telling me I wasn’t enough. I wasn’t good enough for them.¬† I stopped dancing for a week. To be honest I almost gave up on everything all together.

On top of all that… I’m a single parent of two boys, one who is battling depression, anxiety, and PTSD. So I fell into my dark hole emotionally…Even now admitting this makes me cry. I’ve only considered suicide once in my life. I’d never thought I would feel that way again. If it weren’t for my boys, and my friend Maria, I don’t think I would be able to say I fought back the darkness and refused to give up.

The first day back to dance class after a week was a group class and I think my instructors felt something bad happened but they immediately got me out there and made me get back into the swing of things. It was like my eureka moment… No matter how dark my life gets, I will always have dance!

I can show my pain, pleasure and even struggles through my songs and steps. This is my cure to loneliness and heartbreak. While I am thirty six and still a divorced single mom of two… The dance will love me. For that, I will gladly keep going and showing Tavier (My instructor) that I am gonna kick ass on that floor. If just for him…

So now we’re here…October 18th, 2015… And I’m gearing up for Monster’s Ball. One solo and ten group dances. We will be doing the Lindy Hop to the song ‘Stray Cat Strut’ by Brian Stetzer and went with a rockabilly theme to our outfits. I am scared out of my mind but I’ve paid my ‘s extra costs to perform and damn it that’s exactly what I will be doing! If I fail then so be it… but I won’t quit again!

To quote a great article I read recently:

“In fact, many people seek out dancing as a means of overcoming bigger, life problems. Dance Problems are good problems. It means that you are stretching your comfort zone as a dancer.”

I dance for me…I dance for the broken lil’ girl I once was… and for the woman I am today who can’t find true love… But most of all, I dance to show my friends that I wont be a quitter anymore. I wont let one more person tell me again I’m not good enough.

The show must go on….

Till next time friend…..

Sol

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So I decided I could dance….

Hello again old friend! I figured I would give my brain a chance to come up with my second blog…. It tormented me even in my sleep. You ever have those dreams were you’re the odd man out when it came to the popular kids? Yeah…My nightmare revolved around something like that, except it came in the form of my job and dance. But it gave me some in site into my fears.

So technically I had only taken one prior ballroom dancing class in my life. It was a free class at a local studio that upon arriving I realized it was predominately for an older generation. Now don’t get me wrong, I still loved it! They showed us the basic steps of the foxtrot and by the end of the hour my body showed me exactly how out of shape I had become. Now I know most of you will automatically think..DUH, you’re overweight!

Yes, being overweight didn’t help much…but I had been fat and still managed to do my job without excessive pain all my adult life! Well, unless it was two back to back double shifts. Then I would hurt horribly..not from my weight but from the pain of working 32 hours in two days. You’re body would be screaming as well if you were a taking care of the elderly. Yep, I’m a certified nurses aid and while I work for myself right now…most of my nineteen years working in this field was in a nursing home. Trust me when I say it’s not an easy job and your body hurts most of the time from lifting people bigger in weight or height than you. Yes, even if you’re skinner.

But back to my first dance class, that’s when I realized how quickly my body got soft from my current job where I’m more of a companion. So I walked into that class nervous as all get out and was terrified of being judged for my body. Not only did that not happen but they were rather encouraging! When you start these classes they always ask you what made you choose to take ballroom dancing classes. My answer had always been these three important facts:

  • I want to prove I can!
  • I’ve always wanted to dance!
  • To get past my social anxieties!

Now the first answer was more universal. When I said “I can” it wasn’t just me I meant. I meant all of the ladies, and gents, like me! While that may seem silly to some, it meant a lot to me and still does. This past year I’ve learned to stop hating my body and accept that yes…I. Am. FAT! But that doesn’t mean I am less of a human being for being that way and neither are the men and women who look like me and choose to love their bodies as well. So many times we’re told, “Sure you can do it….If you lose the weight.” You know what I say to that? I can do it now and so can you!! Yes, even if you suck as it at first. The point is to do what makes you happy!!

So that first dance class showed me that I can do it. Even if I hurt! So I started practicing 15 minutes a day on the basic steps of the foxtrot. I got cramps in my back and in my calves but nothing hurt worse than the cramp I got in my left butt cheek! Yes, you can get those and let me tell you it feels horrible, lol. I had to have my oldest son dig his knuckle’s into my butt cheek to get the muscle to relax. This taught me another great lesson..lol…I needed to stretch my muscles. All of them!! And while I started working on that I also started looking at the studios schedule for new dancers, I quickly realized I couldn’t use their location. Which felt like a huge set back.

I really wanted their studio since it was cheap ($45 for six weeks) and it was really close to my home. But I work ten hour days, five days a week. So I couldn’t make their early classes. I let this go for a couple weeks and kept my practicing the only dance I had. Then when I quit sulking, I looked up other dance studios in my area. Up popped one that I instantly recognized… Arthur Murray Dance Studio! I called them up and without skipping a beat set up my first practice lesson. My instructor is a great young man and according to him I’m a quick learner. We went through the first steps of the Rhumba, Salsa and the Waltz. I felt comfortable enough to go through all my reasons for being there and he supported each of them. Needless to say that I immediately forked up my credit card for future classes and set up my new dance schedule with him.

I know I’ve made the right choice for myself and I also know for the first time in my life I feel like I’m right where I belong. My body hurt horribly again but I’ve taken a proactive stance by doing¬† Zumba, as well as ballet Pilates, all from the comfort of my living room. So yes I am exercising, eating better and dancing again. But you know what? I could care less about losing weight. I just want to dance and I know I will do that no matter if I’m 245lbs or 130lbs!

So old friend, if I could leave one important thought with you it would be this…. What’s your dream and why aren’t you chasing it? I don’t care if it’s running a marathon, sailing around the world or dancing. All it takes is one step…. then after that it’s nothing but effort. If I can do this then so can you. Never let society or the world tell you that you can’t!

“To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love. ~ Jane Austen”
Till next time…
XOXO
Sol

Who’s that girl…..

To quote one of my favorite movie lines, “I’d like to start this off as if I’m chatting with an old friend. So hello old friend!” This is the first time I’ve ever created a blog, so if I get something wrong, then the worldwide web will have to forgive me.¬† First off¬† let me say if you’re reading this for the first time,¬† then welcome to my lil’ world!

My name is Sol Rosa, which means Sun Rose and I live in Kansas City, KS. I’m a 36 year old single mother of two beautiful teenage boys and for the first time in my life, I’m learning to ballroom dance! Now as a plus size woman this has it’s challenges but I’m up for it and determined to prove that we big women (and men) can do anything we set our minds too! So lets start this journey with a lil’ explaining about my past, my love for dancing and how it shaped me into the person I am today…

While as a little girl I did the usual ballet and tap lessons. I was always told I was too fat to do either and I eventually stopped. I think that shaped my childhood greatly. My foster parents started trying to make me into the all American Latina barbie doll. Within two years I had bounced from ballet and tap to beauty pageants and finally PAL Cheerleading.¬† The last two I hated the most, but during all that I hated that every single instructor told me one key thing… You’re too fat! Imagine how shattering that is to a child. To be told that the dreams you have for yourself are unattainable, simply because you’re a chunky kid. Now I wont sugar coat it, I was a little fat.¬† Food was my coping mechanism with the stress of being torn away from the only family I loved.

See.. My dad was an ex-Marine, and an alcoholic, who was very abusive to my mother and my older siblings. He’d never hit me but I watched him brutally beat and almost kill my mother on a daily bases. On one occasion I’d witnessed him put my mother in a headlock with a revolver to her head. He said, “Scream and I’ll blow her brains out!” I was but five years old at the time. Now I have no clue why I did it, but, I looked that man in the face and I screamed bloody murder. By the grace of God he didn’t shoot, but, he did cock the hammer and take aim a different target….me. Now when you’re five years old you have no life to go before your eyes, you just know¬† you’re about to lose your mom. I stared up the barrel of that gun and could see the loaded bullets in the chambers. Needless to say, he never fired.¬† But I spent the rest of my childhood terrified of guns and men in general. But eventually my siblings and I were taken away from our parents and placed in the custody of the state. That’s where I learned to use food for comfort and the beginning of being told I was too fat to do anything correctly.

Now don’t get me wrong, I had two great foster mothers and one wonderful foster father.My first foster mother was a beautifully strong woman who was a first grade teacher. I loved her and her daughters greatly. She was such a soothing soul but I was not an easy child to raise. She even told me that she found hidden messages in my dresser drawers saying, “I wan my reel mom!” lol..needless to say I was in the first grade and my spelling was way off. I just knew I wanted my birth mother and I wanted to go home! Due to unforeseen circumstances I was bounced to a new foster family. I would miss my foster sisters and mother, but I knew I had to move. So off to my second family I went! They had an in ground pool (It was Florida,¬† it seemed like all the good homes had pools) and I went from being just chubby and shy, to a chubby mermaid. They were an older couple and once I felt accepted they figured I needed hobbies to keep me occupied. That started my introduction to the cruel world of fat shaming.

I now¬† know looking back that they just wanted me to be the well rounded American middle class girl. My foster mother asked me what I wanted to do the most and of course I said ballet. Every little girl dreams of being a dancing princess. I remember walking into my first class and my teacher being old school strict. I couldn’t stretch enough like the other lil’ skinny girls. They all looked like the perfect ivory dolls I loved and I was a chunky lil’ Mexican girl with dark skin and fat rolls. Needless to say, I didn’t last too long in that class. My foster mom being the ever persistent woman she is, took me to another location. The teacher was super nice and I loved being there, but yet again I was overshadowed by my lack of abilities to stretch like the rest and couldn’t keep up. Bless my teachers heart…she decided I should be part of her jazz and tap class. Looking back I guess they figured even fat girls could shack their legs and stomp. I was in one recital..I was a friggin’ bumble bee in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.¬† Yeah… You can laugh. Trust me, I laugh looking back at it! I was a short..stumpy..fat, bumble bee!¬† That was the last time I danced.

Bless my foster parents, they refused to be told no. So I was next bounced to cheerleading and beauty pageants. Needless to say I only won first place once, though lord only knows how, and I hated cheerleading with a passion of a thousand fiery suns! Out of all this one thing kept being pounded into my head…I was too fat. Granted, looking back I can see while I was chunky..I was not morbidly obese. It didn’t help that I use to sleep walk and break into the fridge to eat anything I could find. My first foster parent had to barricade the fridge and my second believed in eating McDonald, Pizza, and KFC all the time. So yeah…I went from group activities to spending as much time as I could at the library and eating in secret. I became a fat book nerd by the third grade and by the age of 10 something I thought would be the cure all answer had finally come..I was going back to my real family!

In 1988 I finally went back home..sort of. My oldest sister was granted temporary guardianship of me and my other brother, he’s 5 years older than me. I honestly thought this was the best thing to ever happen to me. Till I finally got settled. I hadn’t been around my sister all that much while in foster care. She left at 18 to be with her high school sweetheart and they moved to Ohio. So my second to oldest sister was the one I was closest to. She came to visit me at least once a month from college and I looked up to her like a mother. At this point I hadn’t seen my real mom in several years. Her visitation privileges had been revoked by the state and I only saw my brothers twice after we were all split up. So while I knew they were my family, I wasn’t close to them. It was like being torn away from another life. While I knew my foster family didn’t love me like their own. It was the only family I had at the time. So once the rose colored glasses came off…I went right back to eating and having separation issues.

My sister and her hubby weren’t able to put me into any activities since we were now a Navy family. Other than school I really had nothing to do. No local library…no nothing. So I ate and I wore my sisters clothes. She was 21 and skinny…but my fat frame filled out her clothes. Even more so when I started puberty…that was my saving grace! I started shedding baby fat and reshaping my body into something boys noticed, especially in my sisters heels.. So here I was at 13 with a grown woman’s body. We’re talking 36-28-36…Yeah, I had a body to make people notice..even Navy men that shouldn’t have. But you know what happened? No matter the body I had…I was told I would be so much prettier…IF! That damned word followed me from the age of 13 till the age of 17… throughout my years when boys begged to touch me and my curves, to having grown married men begging me to be theirs. But the whole time I couldn’t figure out why they reacted that way…In my eyes, and in the eyes of my family I was pretty but needed to lose weight. I was always told I needed to lose 20 pounds and then I would be perfect.

Fast forward to the age of 21…I had my babies and the fat came back. By the time I had both of my boys , I was a size 20 and I never lost it. I married a physically and emotionally abusive man who told me all the time I was ugly and not good¬† enough. When you’re told your whole life the same things, you believe them. So while I always dreamed of doing ballroom dancing and feeling like a princess….I always told myself I couldn’t do it. Cause who would teach a short fat woman, right?

Beyond all the abuse of my families and my husband…Beyond the freedom of my divorce and my great escape from Florida.. Past the repeated abuse done by myself and the revolving door of suitors I’ve had in my six years of living in Kansas. I am finally learning who I really am. I am Sol Rosa… I am 245lbs of pure sunshine who loves traveling, reading (especially Outlander!) and more than that….I am worthy of love and good enough to do anything I set my mind too!!

So this is my journey into ballroom dancing as a plus size woman, wont you take it with me?! I will write about my experiences and my passions. Some days it wont be much and others I will most likely pour my heart and soul into this blog. But until then…I’m so honored you chose to step into this journey with me¬† and I look forward to your feedback! To wrap up my first blog I end it on another quote.

“The odd thing about this form of communication is that you’re more likely to talk about nothing than something. But I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings.”

Till next time…

Love,

Sol

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