Our dance studio teachers and students have a few more weeks to prepare for the summer PERFORMANCE (Aka -SPOTLIGHT) - choreographed routines in the Latin or Smooth ballroom dances. Some of us are social dancers, while others dance competitively. Our dance experience ranges from three months to ten years or more!
In my heart of hearts, I always considered myself a dancer. I was a freestyle, free-spirited, do-your-own thing dancer. That is until I took my first ballroom dance lesson a year ago and discovered I didn’t know the first thing about dancing. At least about partner dancing, properly known as social dancing.
It was a big blow to my ego, a personal humiliation to discover how hard it was for this dancer to coordinate arms with complex foot and leg movements to the correct rhythm and timing of a specific dance while attempting to look good at the same time.
Working for weeks (actually, months) on the same step, turn or spiral, I could not understand how it could be that no matter how hard I practiced, there was so little improvement. I left many a lesson demoralized asking myself, “What am I doing this for? What is the point?.“
A year later of private and group lessons, supervised practices, organized social dances, endless reviewing of steps in my kitchen, on metro platforms and open country roads, I’m hungrier than ever to learn more. I'm finally a serious student. And, willing to repeat the same steps over and over. Repetition builds confidence and competence. I welcome corrections.
But what I want most is to bypass my conscious mind. I want my thinking, analytical brain to relax and my muscle memory to kick-in. I want to be in sync with any partner so that leading and following feel effortless (and look it too!). This year, I am working on being able to feel more and be less distracted by what step to do next or to predict what my partner is going to do. Or, even to think, "hey, I'm doing pretty good."
As I gear up for the Spotlight, I visualize in my mind’s eye the three routines I'm going to do; the slow waltz, the rumba and the samba. Rehearsing each day is one of my greatest pleasures. And when showtime comes, I hope to dance with great feeling and style -- fully -- for a few minutes. Terrifying minutes. Wish me luck.
Coach Minda - provides confidential coaching services in Montreal, and internationally by telephone or by SKYPE. Coaching focuses on life-work issues.
Visit www.coachminda.com for more on my approach and background, or to review client testimonials. To know more about my services, simply call or write.
7/6/2015 03:04:55 pm
Wonderful blog about humility, learning and performance. Top athletes and performers talk about the process of such intensive preparation that performance becomes second nature. I wonder, Coach Minda, if you think its simply about the sheer number of hours, or, if there is a way of practicing or even mindfulness that strengthens the ability to perform effortlessly.
8/6/2015 11:03:13 am
Leave a Reply.
My family, relationships, movement, nature, flexibility of mind, exploration of alternative perspectives & openness are central to my life.