As you read in the first chapter of this series of posts about my dancing career, my first dance lesson was a mixture of joy, tears and hanging on my teacher’s leg. I seemed to like it enough to come back the next time…and the time after that…and after that again.

Like it happens in most dance schools, the dance class I attended was composed of 80% girls and a few scared-looking little boys, who didn’t really know if they wanted to be there but liked to move and bounce along to music enough to tolerate the pink-wearing, screaming throng of girls.

After about a month of lessons it was time to start learning how dancing in couples worked and I was one of the girls who found themselves standing in front of my partner, who was perfectly nice except for one thing- he was a BOY!

“From that very first lesson to about two years later, I don’t think we ever spoke to each other. We just showed up for classes, danced together when we were told Standard or Latin- American dances were on (the classes we attended were structured so that during the first two years we did all dance forms, from ballet to modern) and went home after the lesson was finished.”

The first time I remember actually speaking to Jaka, was after our “graduation”. Our dance school awarded kids who completed the two-year general programme with diplomas and then directed them to specialised groups where they were taught specific programmes. Me and Jaka were directed to the Dancesport group and this was when our parents sat us down and asked if we wanted to start competing and training more often. We both said yes.

The first group with “real”competitors, the cool kids of the school who we all looked up to and wanted to be. The first private lesson, the first competition routine, my first-ever competition dress! 

My beautiful, bright red, second-hand dress I adored and danced in until it was too small, the dress I cried after when my mum sold it on to another little girl…My first competition came along, a ranking tournament two hours drive from Ljubljana, which in my mind made it an epic journey. We had to ask one of my teachers to take me and my mum there, as at the time my parents didn’t own a car (I know, how strange does that sound today?). The first steps on the competition floor, the fear and the anticipation and the first result recorded in my competition book- 67th place out of 72 couples! Not a result to be particularly proud of, but that’s how it all started.

And I was 5 years old…

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