Our first teacher told us to enjoy the practice, the work, the struggle, because the competition only lasts a few minutes and you spend the majority of your time lessoning, practicing, and working thru things. We LOVE the preparation, and we enjoy the results. Social dance does not add skills to our competitive work, since leading a social dancer usually means lowering our sensitivities, speed, and quality, for the reasons so often mentioned in threads where folks talk about dancing with others that either do not take any coaching or more directly, refuse to abide by the conventions of partner dance (things like using their standing leg, finding their balance, creating a strong and undistorted frame and shape). Floor crafting at a social is so different than a competition floor, with social dancers randomly stopping and talking, unexpectedly opening up against the line of dance, and moving in that slow 'march of the foxtrot' way. You might find most competitive dancers saying that social dance actually worsens their movement and abilities. Social dance is another animal entirely and should not be confused with competitive style dance... and what you see when you see 'serious' dancers doing their 'thing' on the floor is highly enjoyable to THEM (the breaking things down, working through arcane points, etc). Don't confuse your feelings with theirs. These folks relish the time they spend doing what they do, wherever they do it, just like a social dancer does - they just enjoy different aspects.