Accept the Small Victories

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Lets just start off with this.  I know that my first reaction to new dance steps tends to be negative and I focus on all the reasons why I can’t do something instead of allowing myself to believe that I can do it.  Unless I get deep inside my head, I have been able to get things down and then I always feel so silly for complaining as much as I did at the beginning.  And I know my instructor feels the same way because she’s seen this pattern multiple times and she talks about wanting to take my little negative demon and slash it into a million pieces.  I’m fairly sure I’d be a much better dancer if I just had a little more faith in my abilities and approached things with a more positive attitude.  I do think I might be working through the cycle a little faster but starting out in the bad place still limits me.

Where am I going with this?  Well I had four lessons this week (it was a busy week) and we spent a little time in each lesson on the Cha-Cha routine and I’ve run through it enough times that I know I can do it.  The other thing I have to work on is setting more realistic expectations for myself.  I should know already that it takes time to make a routine work and we’ve only been working on this one for about a month.  At this point, it should be rough but just making it through without a major screw up is a victory.  My instructor certainly thought so and I have to realize that she’s a much better judge of how much progress I should be making than I am and if she’s happy with it, then I should be as well.  There was an auto company (Lexus?) that used to talk about a relentless pursuit of perfection which is not what I should be doing but what gets into my head more often than it needs to.

The other thing that happened last night was during the practice party at the studio.  Towards the end of the night, a cha-cha came so I asked my instructor to dance and she started to line up for the routine.  Given that the song was going to be significantly faster than the one we’ve been using, I thought she was a little crazy and, after some initial hesitation, I decided just to go for it because there was no real down side.  There were the usual rough patches but we made it through the entire routine and even managed to stay reasonably on time.  Again, she was happy with it.  My first thought was to focus on the rough spots (of course!) but after listening to her, I started to understand that just getting through the routine to a much faster song was a good thing.  It may have been a small victory but it was a victory none the less.  It did strike me that the path to a successful routine is more likely a series of small victories and I’m hoping I can learn to accept those.

I’m sure much of this is repetitive since I keep bouncing between thoughts like this and then getting low when something doesn’t go as well as I’d like.  I’m just hoping the more times I lay out these thoughts, that it somehow helps me deal with my negative demon a little better.  If I write it enough, then maybe I’ll start believing it.

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