Many dear readers know that I started taking dance lessons a few months ago (because they are sick to death of hearing me talk about it ALL THE TIME, LIKE NOW). Well, this week has left me feeling out of sorts, confused about where to head after considering my progress (or lack thereof!).
When I started lessons I was focused on learning the foot patterns, and was told by more than one person I was hard to lead, so I refocused and now just try to feel the lead and follow and don't think about the steps...now I hear that I cannot dance the steps by myself (um, isn't this a partner dance, lead by the man?) so obviously I need to refocus again and find the balance between knowing the steps and waiting for them to be lead which is much more difficult for me than it sounds here in print. I guess I am just not the type of girl who likes to wait....but this is where I am at.
Trouble looming ahead: there is a dance showcase coming up May 31st at the Rusty Pelican for which I have been practicing a Rumba routine, but I am reconsidering after dancing a Rumba this past Wednesday at a studio gathering - it felt absolutely stiff and TERRIBLE....and I am not so certain I want to do the showcase since I am so unhappy with my progress. (Yes, I know this showcase is MONTHS AWAY and that which does not kill us makes us stronger, but how many hours do I want to put into rehearsing ONE dance routine when there is SO MUCH to work on?) The studio thinks the solution is to do MORE public dancing, and not to let my desire for "perfection" to get in the way of that...each dance is one step on the journey....
I confide that in conducting my informal survey (asking everyone I see dancing anywhere) that anyone who looks decent on the dance floor admits to dancing a minimum of two years, and those who look great admit to a minimum of five....then there are those who try to tell you they just started and they have been dancing 20-40 years, have done competitions and may have even worked as an instructor (you can't make this stuff up! Cagey bastards!). So I conceptualize the long road I am on...My instructor teases that I will wait the five years before wanting to let anyone see me dance. Despite being accused of perfectionist tendencies (again, yes, a common theme - it must be true!) I do realize that whatever level I achieve I will always be left feeling there is room for improvement - it just who I am.
When I started lessons it was not with the goal of performing in public. I'm considering ditching the Bronze Program (technique focused) and going back to Social Ease (foot pattern focused - can you walk and talk at the same time?) which my instructor says would be a waste. Despite (and because of) the fact I am paying for their expertise, I have a hard time listening to much anything they have to tell me since it feels like blowing smoke.....lessons are a sales transaction and are not inexpensive...
My instructor interprets this rebellion as a lack of motivation and confidence to which I say HA!...this has to be the first time in my life anyone has accused me of either - but I am open minded and introspective - could there be some truth to it? I am not easily satisfied with my progress - will performing a Rumba in public venue or at a competition (as the studio suggests) really improve my ability or confidence? Is there anything wrong with wanting to have achieve a level of personal satisfaction with one's abilities before sharing it with the public?
Maybe you have experienced something similar in another field and can relate....I hope you will share your thoughts with me now....and if you know a good Rumba show tune send me the artist and title!