Stop Looking and Focus


I am finally back from my family vacation and have settled into old routine once again.  That means I’ll start blogging again regularly.  As for this particular topic, its one that I struggle with, mainly due to my general insecurity.  I am not the most confident person you will ever meet and that means I have a nasty tendency to compare myself to others, no matter what setting I’m in.  Unfortunately, this includes dancing, which is the area of my life where I am most confident.  Let us face two facts.  One, in any endeavor one is in, there will always be people above you in terms of prowess.  The converse is also true: there will always be people below you.  Two, comparing oneself to another individual always makes you the loser due to your own bias.  Both these statements are pretty obvious in my opinion, but that does not keep me from turning a little green in the face sometimes.  My inclination toward impatience does not help either.  For example, a couple at the studio was just recently told a couple of days ago that they were ready to test out of Bronze I into Bronze II.  My first thought, regrettably, was “Come on, how did they get there so fast, and when am I going to test out of my level?”  In retrospect, from the time they started dancing to their teacher’s announcement, they probably took just about as long as I did, which was around a little over a year and a half.  There were also breaks during that time period for both of us.  So, was that really worth getting my prideful feathers ruffled?

I try my best to keep in mind Mikhail Baryshnikov’s advice in mind as often as possible.  He says, “I do not try to dance better than anyone else.  I only try to dance better than myself.”  For me, that means to keep my darn eyes off the other dancers and only focus on me.  I’m not going to improve if I keep mentally moaning about how I wish I was in Bronze III.  I just have to keep going for it until I get there.  Of course, writing it down on a blog and actually doing it are two different things.  To be honest, dance has been pretty frustrating lately.  On one hand, I’ve just gotten back from vacation dance-wise, so my body is not really doing what I want it to do.  In fact, yesterday was my first lesson that involved actual dancing.  What I mean by actual, is getting back into the swing of things.  I had two previous dance lessons before yesterday, but both were entirely dedicated to a mini-routine that I have already performed.  All I was thinking yesterday was, “Man, I know I’m no prima ballerina, but I know I’m not this clumsy!”  But, here’s the real source of my frustration: I feel like I’m back to square one.  When I was with Nick, I felt really, really close to testing out.  But, now that I have a new teacher, I do have to start over in a sense.  That is, I have to get used to his teaching style, the way he interacts with me, etc.  Unfortunately, I feel like I’ve taken an enormous step back, and I do not feel like I am progressing at the rate I want to.  Yes, the best solution is to talk to my teacher, but I lack the courage.  So, here’s my resolve: suck it up, keep it up, and shut it up.

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