Is it worth trying? (Color Guard / Dancing)

A place to talk about your experience of living with Dyspraxia

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Mayonaka
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Is it worth trying? (Color Guard / Dancing)

Post by Mayonaka » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:46 pm

Hi, I have not been officially diagnosed with dyspraxia but me and my therapist have a high suspicion that I do. I am 16 and last year during the school year I participated in Color Guard (basically dancing but more complicated because you're adding in flag spins and tosses along with it) I STRUGGLED. As much as I loved being a part of something it was also extremely degrading. I mixed up certain parts of my routine constantly, I'd forget tosses the second we learned them, some things I could never actually successfully do. During the championships I was facing the complete wrong way during part of our performance. Half of our drills and warm ups- couldn't remember them. I was that bad. Back then it didn't occur to me that dyspraxia was a possibility. As I'm looking into it it's becoming more and more obvious that trying color guard out again is going to be completely hopeless for me. And that hurts, knowing that no matter what I do to be better it's just not going to happen. I'm physically incapable. If I join despite knowing I have this issues, I'd be hindering the team, if I don't improve I'll feel like a burden. But I want to be apart of something, I don't this to determine what I can and can't do...though it kind of seems like I don't have a choice. Is it actually possible for me to succeed? Is it even worth it? I can't drop out if it's still not working out. If anyone else here with dyspraxia does a type of dance, or a sport that requires lots of coordination and good memory, tips would be appreciated. Thank you.
Last edited by Tom fod on Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Clarification / my own damnable perfectionism

Tom fod
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Re: Is it worth trying? (Color Guard / Dancing)

Post by Tom fod » Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:17 pm

Hi and welcome Mayonaka

Sorry for delay in your receiving a response

These sort of activities can be difficult and stressful and often it is we ourselves who are hardest on ourselves, though the attitudes of others can often really stink too. There's very much a feeling that we have to belong and this condition does really mess that up. However, we also tend to be really determined people, which in some respects is quite useful. Unfortunately it can be a curse too as this kind of stubborn determination can hurt too.

I used to try to play pool in a team, it started out ok as we were just doing it for fun and our unofficial motto was Snatching Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory. Unfortunately more competitive and judgemental players took over the team and I found that the whole business was just making me miserable. I think it was around the time I learned that I was Dyspraxic so it was an emotional time for me. My brother has always had more of an interest/obsession so he put in the hours of practise and enjoyed it a lot more.

I also dipped my toe into trying Jive, around the same time, I think. Possibly, had my heart been in it and had I persisted and practised more I might have after a longer time become passably proficient but being a perfectionist that probably would not have been good enough for me and most of the ladies were older than my mum (mom).

Try not to let the knowledge of possibly having the condition define what you consider yourself capable of and try to avoid comparing yourself unfavourably with others.

Hopefully another of our members might have had some direct experience and will be able to offer some additional and more relevant advice, support and ideas.
Last edited by Tom fod on Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: My own damnable perfectionism
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Mayonaka
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Re: Is it worth trying? (Color Guard / Dancing)

Post by Mayonaka » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:41 pm

Thank you for your reply. I totally understand the competitiveness being frustrating. It's why I quit literally every sport I've tried. People were flat out mean. In guard I find they all try to be as nice as possible but I can tell when me having to ask how to do a toss for the 100th time starts to **** them off. Some of my friend's think it's funny, "OMG how can you not do that?!? IT'S SO EASY LMAO". They made me feel like an idiot. Maybe I should be joining an activity that won't have big competitions with judges scoring us, it might take some of the pressure off. Being in something less serious I guess. Though it's hard, our school doesn't have a whole lot to offer, I'll probably have to search around.

jayalexander
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Re: Is it worth trying? (Color Guard / Dancing)

Post by jayalexander » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:03 am

I played rugby while I was at university, in my first and third years. Prior to that I'd only played about 8 years before then when I was at high school. Was totally shocked when I made it onto the team because other people were fanatics and had played for their county. I think the position I played was just quite unpopular :grin:

It was really challenging due to slight balance issues and the fact that I was expected to regularly catch an egg shaped ball, plus I didn't have much of a clue about some of the rules but I got through it and have some fun memories.

Your case sounds a little different to mine but I would suggest talking to the coach about the problems you're having and I'm sure they may be able to adapt certain things for you and you can still be part of something you like doing.

otis_b_flywheel
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Re: Is it worth trying? (Color Guard / Dancing)

Post by otis_b_flywheel » Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:36 am

Hi Mayonaka,
Welcome and my short answer to the question you pose in your subject line is YES.
As far as I can tell, and forgive a bit of a generalisation, but broadly speaking dyspraxics fall into two camps regarding sports / activities that require a high degree of co-ordination / memory. The first group do not enjoy them at all and avoid them like the plague, which of course is their choice. The second category, which I think includes you and me, really do enjoy some of them and become determined to take part.
In your post you focus heavily on the aspects you're not good at, which for someone who is dyspraxic is entirely understandable. I can't believe, however, that there are not bits of Color Guard that you do well. Yes, I'm sure some of your colleagues can be negative, but I'm equally confident that there are others who are not. I've posted elsewhere on this forum about my experiences with playing shinty. Last year I overheard only the second part of a conversation at training between two young lads in the team "No, Tim's on form tonight!" So it would probably be reasonably accurate to fill in the blanks and guess that the comment that provoked this was something along the lines of "Why do we have to have that idiot in our team?" So the point I would make is, if you really enjoy doing Color Guard, carry on and try not to be oversensitive to deconstructive criticism. I get lots of praise and constructive criticism on the shinty field as well as frequent shouts of "Jesus, Tim - what are you doing?"
Try to remember the positive bits and keep up the good work!
Tim

"I may not be perfect, but parts of me are pretty awesome."

LizzyD
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Re: Is it worth trying? (Color Guard / Dancing)

Post by LizzyD » Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:22 am

Dear Mayonaka,
Being clueless about my diagnosis of dyspraxia until the age of 63 has had some negative consequences as well as some very positive ones. When it came to an activity like color guard/dancing (mine was competitive baton twirling) my mother insisted upon lessons and practice, practice, practice. You know us, when we "get something" we become masters at it. That is exactly what happened with me.
Yes, please do this.
My father also was a dyspraxic. He became a semi-professional boxer, and not a heavy-weight! Do you know the foot work and coordination involved in this? I became a nurse. I hated working on the wards...but I loved ICU, CCU, ER of course more 1:1 patients. My son is a Green Beret in the Army! Of course, he is a dyspraxic. Green Berets do small powerful, focused missions.
The negative part was the damage to self esteem.
Best Wishes

Mayonaka
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Re: Is it worth trying? (Color Guard / Dancing)

Post by Mayonaka » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:02 am

Thank you everyone for your replies; I have a clinic tomorrow for the guard tomorrow and I’ve decided to go, see if I like our new coaches, and basically kind of see how i feel once I toss the flag for the first time in months, if it’s something I enjoy it should feel good to do again, so i suppose I’ll let that determine whether or not I’ll join.

@otis i actually had a similar experience regarding people trash talking our skills- 2 days after this post i had been told that someone on our guard team said that i was a burden to our whole team, bringing everyone down, and was the absolute worst and there was no point in trying to help me because I was hopeless. Of course that didn’t help me at all as i was already extremely self conscious about it not too long prior...it honestly made me break down and say **** it I’m not trying with this. But my friends talked to me and said I really wasn’t all that bad (of course I know the truth, but if I was as bad as that girl said I know they would have said it wasn’t my thing) I’m going try again, like i said earlier, hopefully all goes well.

LizzyD
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Re: Is it worth trying? (Color Guard / Dancing)

Post by LizzyD » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:46 am

Hi, I was wondering how it went? BTW, after my first year of nursing school an instructor invited me to her home (strange). She expressed her "concern" about my ability to really comprehend nursing. Fast forward 40 + yrs....I have been beyond successful,I have worked in two world reknown institutions, held supervisory positions and on and on. I am not bragging, this (for me) has/is about faith first of all and not buying into negative people.
As you age and mature hopefully you will pass what you have learned on to others.

Mayonaka
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Re: Is it worth trying? (Color Guard / Dancing)

Post by Mayonaka » Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:47 am

I decided I wasn't going to continue with it. Unfortunately the new coaches wanted way too many hours a week and it was super pricey this year so unless I REALLY wanted to, I didn't think it was worth it- especially because I'd rather spend that time on a job. Besides those issues we did a lot during that clinic, lots of dance moves and movements that frustrated the living hell out of me and I've come to the conclusion that maybe sports just isn't for me. Plenty of people, dyspraxia or not, aren't super great at sports anyway. Why torture myself?

I also think that's fantastic that you proved that person wrong. I think even though learning takes more work, it's not impossible. I guess for me it just really was about whether or not that work was actually worth it. I think if it was something I was more passionate about I would have gone for it anyway.

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