My daughter turned out to be the ultimate date to one of my best friend's wedding reception! I don't know if it was the heels I was wearing or if my daughter had just had enough of sitting from all the travel, but I had a hard time keeping up with her!
The thing that makes me most proud is that my daughter, despite being one of the youngest guests, was not afraid to take her moment. I've noticed that though sometimes children can appear to be so shy, yet often they are the ones who are the least inhibited when it comes to creating inner joy and satisfying the present.
I have always had a love of dance, as I talk about often, but I am also highly aware that some people have an anxiety about dancing in front of people. A friend of mine recently told me that just one person told her that she couldn't dance and it has been a seed in her mind for years!
Many of us know the benefits of dancing already for literally every age group: heart health, flexibility, mental escapism or focus, coordination, muscle-toning, and just straight up fun. In this post though I want to focus on the part of dancing that can train you to develop confidence in your own vision and capabilities.
One of my favorite dance movies is Dance With Me (1998) starring Vanessa Williams, Kris Kristofferson, and Chayanne. If you haven't already seen the movie, Vanessa's character, a professional Latin ballroom dancer, is challenged to learn to dance with her natural vibration rather than relying on choreography. I never get sick of watching this and it was the catalyst to learning Latin dance myself.
Too many times when we receive any sort of training, it can be easy to lose yourself in the process. It is easy to mentally trip up on procedures, develop fears of making mistakes, or lost the ability to be open to imagination. We have to learn to walk the fine line of knowing when to take critique that makes us better and when we need to defer to our instincts.
Dancing is phenomenal for this. Often people learn to dance in front of a mirror so that the reflection can help create the desired movement or muscle memory that is needed to correct posture or placement. At some point though, you can't rely on the mirror. You have to rely on the feeling. The feeling will tell you if you aren't where you need to be.
These same principles apply when we are tackling our goals. We can have a choreographed routine (other peoples path to success) in a given area, however sometimes it is going to be impossible to mirror them. We may not have the same resources, location advantage, support team, or physical health. It may turn out that you need to borrow one or two moves and then choreograph your own dance to your own song!
Speaking of choreography, unless we are performing as part of a group, we cannot always feel obligated to do what everyone else is doing. Standing out is ALWAYS better than being boring. There are times that you will be better off with people looking AT you and you will need to be confident to go solo. You don't always have to have a grand personality or be the loudest one in the room, but you also have to show that you at least belong in the room.
In the movie Flashdance (1983) Alex is just as talented as the other girls (we have to assume despite not ever seeing the extras dance) that she has to audition against to get into dance school, yet she chickens out the first time because she allowed herself to be intimidated. By this point she is already dancing part-time for night entertainment and self-trains at home.
Certain industries on this world make it point to try and demean other people's "lack of experience" because they want to maintain a reputation or a status quo. Don't let that affect YOU though! Do your research, learn the skills, and then put yourself out there as much as possible. Believe it or not, some companies or leaders are not looking for the same thing they keep getting... they re looking to be the first to find the next big thing.
When you go to an event or a party, don't stand at the drink table not talking to anyone. Talk to everyone like it's your event until the host takes over! Don't be the last person on the dance floor. Everyone else who is dancing just wants to have a good time dancing with everyone else! A dance floor means the more the merrier. Other people will get up and dance once you get up there (or they will enjoy the show).
Get comfortable being the first on the floor sometimes with your family, in your job, with your friends, in your mom group, etc. Sometimes people want to have a leader and then other times they want to know they have a stable partner. No one wants to be around someone who always says no to invitations or never wants to try anything new! There are so many opportunities to wear new pairs of dance shoes in life, so go wear them!
When we allow ourselves to dance through life, we give ourselves permission to learn new skills as well as create the fluidity to move from environment to environment. Just as there are many variations of dance styles such as hip-hop, ballet, tap, contemporary, belly-dance, etc... there are many layers our individuality. When we develop our own code, substance, path, and mindset we have far fewer reasons to spend time plotting the downfall of someone else's.
As depicted in the films Center Stage (2000) and High Strung (2016), no matter the socioeconomic class that we may fall in, we will endure mental, physical, and emotional challenges as we compete four our spot at whatever table we expect to feast at.. and some of us even more so because we are trying to build the f**king table ourselves! We can't always keep our balance, thoroughly communicate our intentions, or summon the right crowd who will get our masterpiece.
Sometimes we are going to have to endue a lot of bad critic reviews or no reviews at all before we land the right audience. However, if we stop dancing and stop putting on the show for the early adopter audience we already have, then we do everyone a disservice because we fail to grow and test our capabilities. We have to be willing to dance when there's no applause, dance when there's little applause, dance when the seats are sold out, dance when the music is playing, and dance when there's no music at all.
Remember it is not always about the steps, it is about the feeling and the rhythm. Be willing to find your own rhythm and create your own sound, even when it feels like forever until you get to dance for anyone other than you. In doing so you can be healthier, more joyful, better inspired, and consistently progressing.
Thank you all for dancing with me every time you read a post, like a post, follow on Instagram or Facebook, subscribe, or share! I love my dance. I love my song. My early adopters rock and I know I am on the verge of making the changes I wish to see in the world. Don't forget to tag me onto your dance floor as well! I can't wait to hear from you!