I recently spoke with an old friend who I have not seen in years and we used to dance together quite often at my old dance studio and in dance clubs ... etc. In fact, she was my "trusted dance buddy" and if you are a dancer, you know you need a dance buddy. Someone who could join you anytime because as wel all know, dancers and dance lovers are hard to find ...
As we hang out and of course talked about our old dance experiences together, she mentioned that she stopped dancing or learning other dance styles like she always did because she realized she will never be "the best dancer" out there!
As a long time dancer and dance teacher, the most I have ever enjoyed dancing is when I gave up the idea of being "the best". I know I am not the best belly dancer out there by far. I have good teaching skills which I always had my entire life. I always had an innate talent for teaching people almost anything and I just applied that to a dance form I love to break it down for other. As a dancer and performer, I am not the best and could care less about being the best and what is the best anyhow? Right?
This brings a bigger question I have seen a lot of dancers and students deal with. I have seen so many students quit a dance class because they are not as good as other students in the classroom or quit performing because they compare themselves to other dancers and performers out here ...
The point of dancing is not to be the best. the point of dance is to enjoy moving your body in a way that you feel your best while listening to music you love and it moves you. That is the ultimate point.
The moment you start to see another purpose beyond this one, you will lose the love you ahd for this dance , you will lose not just the love for movement, music ... you will lose the love you had for yourself and get into this self doubt spiral that never end or ends badly with anxiety, depressions and a very sad life and who wants to get there .
As a dancer, it is best to focus on the sole purpose you started dancing. If you get to the point of being good enough to perform, that's fine. If not, just continue having fun dancing.
- Stop comparing yourself with others
You will never be the best dancer in a room just like you will never be completely ready for a performance. Give it up! Just get out there and have fun and the move fun you have, the better dancer you will be and the better you will perform. Start with that burning feeling of moving to the beat that makes you feel like nothing else matters. As dancers, we all know what that feels like because it is the reason we started dancing. Find that feeling again, connect with yourself and don't care about anything else or anyone else when you get there.
We all doubt ourselves all the time, that is a human thing. It's not about eliminating the feeling but rather knowing how to deal with it when it pops up and the way to do that is by simply finding that "No care love for dance" you once had and especially don't lose it because of self doubt and useless comparisons ...
- Make the dancer be the dance
An old Flamenco dance teacher once told me "let the dancer be the dance" and that is a phrase I danced by my entire life. Merge yourself in the music and the feeling it gives you and move to it and that is all! Don't let the dance make you, make the dance!
- Use the power of visualization
The other thing there is a tremendous power in visualization and most dancers are visual people anyways. When you dance, you develop a visual of what you look like or what the movement looks like. This could go both ways. You can visualize yourself as a terrible dancer and judge yourself or you could visualize yourself as the beautiful person you feel inside and dance even better. Use the power of visualization to your advantage
- Talk nice to yourself
Use the right language when you speak to yourself. Some of us sometimes will never say the things we say to ourselves to even strangers. We are always rude to ourselves! Why is that? Be nice and loving when you speak to yourself. What you say to yourself defines you. Stop judging yourself. We all have greatness in us and if we don't admit that and accept it, we will kill that greatness . I always tell my friends to "get out of their own way" because I see too many people being their own obstacle in many ways but the most common way is just the way they talk to themselves
- Use the power of "Fuck it"
I love this phrase. sorry if you don't cuss. Just do it and don't give a fuck because honestly what is the worst that could possibly happen if you just be yourself no matter how inferior it is compared to others. Will those "others" jump and bite you? No! Nothing will happen. Nothing at all. One of the best mantras of life I learned from a very young age that led me to leave an entire country and live my life on my own terms is this simple phrase "Fuck it what is the worst that could happen". Life is too short to give a fuck about what anyone thinks. Embrace your weakness and imperfections because most likely they will never go away so ask yourself what else is there to enjoy and go find that. Chase it with love and a careless attitude.