Granted! Ironically, while I write this I'm listening to "The Scientist" by Coldplay and the lyrics "Nobody said it was easy... No one ever said it would be this hard... Oh take me back to the start." are echoing in the background. Total serendipity - because today's blog is about letting yourself Suck when you're new...to anything - especially Dance.
Dance demands things of muscles in your body you didn't know you had. It requires focus you didn't know you were capable of - where time evaporates and life's other problems melt away (one of the perks of the dance floor, actually:). And if it's a partner dance you're doing - it pleads with you to be more vulnerable, more giving, and more honest than you ever thought possible. Then you put the music on and it demands all of these of you at high speeds!? You're going to stumble. Probably even fall. Guess what - everyone does!
Cut yourself a little slack. Even if you're accustomed to picking things up quickly. Even you - athlete, professional musician, superwoman... even you. I've said this over and over again to my students - usually right before I give them thirteen things to think about at once. Hey, I'm not perfect. I'm excitable. So if I give you a lot to think about, it's because you're doing really well!
By now, we've all heard it takes 10,000 hours to master your craft. I know we're not all trying to be masters, but let's give ourselves a minimum of 1,000 hours (conservatively:) to be good - shall we? And when we get stuck - as we inevitably will - go back to the start: the basics.
Life truly is a dance. I need to remember this more in the Parenting arena. It's a tricky one to negotiate at times and I get sooooo disappointed with myself when I handle a tough situation poorly. Most recently, it involved my three year old, a pair of wet pants, and a carpet stain. But that's why they're called Accidents! I should have just shrugged it off and went about our now deodorized evening. But I didn't. I suck. And I hate that I suck.
I want to be an amazing mom! I do my homework. I read parenting books, books on communicating, books about expressing love, parenting blogs, and anything else I can fit into my schedule. But when a "song comes on" I don't like - I flail through space and time lost in my own ineptitude. And I'm over 25,000 hours into my son's life. Talk about Slow Learner. But they're right... "no one ever said it would be this hard". I need to go back to the basics. Which, with kids, is Love.
I'm not saying you have to like sucking. I'm saying: expect you will...totally suck... when you're new. Allow yourself some stumbles. Some bruised knees (and Egos). Most importantly, allow yourself time to get better.
See you on the hardwood!
...and not in the good way! Two things really bother me on the dance floor. The first is a pushy lead. I don't like being manhandled (nor do I know anyone who does). I'd much rather be invited. The second, and one I have been lucky enough to avoid for some time, is Ego. I absolutely want to punch some guys in the face...ok, that may be a little violent (and not the right way to start the new year) - so I'll settle for telling them, "It's not about you. Really."
Don't misunderstand. I'm not saying it's about me. The reason I social dance is because it's about US. Two people creating together... something funny, something sexy, it doesn't matter what, as long as both opinions matter in the conversation (dance being a conversation you have without the words). Why would you talk to someone if you don't care what they say, anyway?!
Granted, I did ask this man to dance. But, Wow!, do I wish now he would have said, "No, thanks", b/c he didn't seem to care about my being there at all. I knew his style was flamboyant, but it was a Bachata, so I assumed he would be a tad more chill. Wrong!
His movement was loud and disjointed. His fingertips pressed into my back (Hate it!). His conviction that he was the superior dancer dripped from every scoff he gave if I missed a lead - which happened a grand total of two times toward the beginning of the song while I was still trying to decipher the lead through the yelling his body was doing.
It was basically the total opposite of what dancing should be! And for a split, very sad, second, I understood why women, (people, really - b/c I've heard horror stories about female partners, too) give up social dancing. If I ran into people like this often, I'd pursue another career!
Why do I tell you all this? Why not just vent in my journal like a normal person? So you can be - scratch that - so WE can all be better partners - both in life and dancing! If you engage in conversation with someone, whether with the body or otherwise, make it a conversation you both enjoy. It's not that hard to do. Just make them feel like their being there matters to you. ... Then you might get them hot and bothered in the right way;)
See you on the hardwood!
Allison loves to write almost as much as she loves to dance, so no one had to twist her arm to get her to write about dancing!