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Substitute dance for paint. Sometimes, the voice is hard to silence.

Was in the middle of a bad lesson last night. Some days, I can shake off the little mistakes. Some days, they just shake my confidence. It goes back to being a perfectionist. The part of my mind that says I’ve been doing these dances for a bit and so every run should be flawless and feel great. That part of my mind is divorced from reality but sometimes it is louder than the other parts.

The lesson was a double so we took the opportunity during the change to do our Cha-Cha routine. PJ wanted one of the other instructors to watch (she is sneaky this way in knowing that sometimes an audience brings out the inner performer). There was a guy just starting his lesson so he and his instructor also watched.

Something I obviously need to try!

And we finished right in front of them so there was a little conversation afterwards. One of the things the guy said to describe my dancing was “confidence”. Guess that seemed to shine through.

There was talk about aspiring to be like me as a dancer. Part of the reason I find that talk so uncomfortable is because there are so many times that I’m just a ball of insecurities. And I get caught up in the perfectionism and become my own worst enemy and critic. There’s a whole lot of reasons to not be like me. Pick a better role model.

Although maybe just to me.

Some lessons are just hard to learn. Confidence is tied up with a whole bunch of other things and it can be hard to unwind them. You spend many years developing this image of who you are and what you can do and then you do something completely different (like ballroom dancing) and there remains part of your mind that can’t deal with it. The insecurities aren’t as loud, but they never really go away.

Now this isn’t all a bad thing. A little insecurity can keep you striving for improvement. Too much though keeps you from acknowledging all you’ve achieved. As with everything, balance is key.

I do know that my own feeling on how a dance went is an imperfect gauge. When there is a disconnect between what people see and what I feel, more weight should be given to what was observed. It doesn’t matter if it felt “off” to me if it didn’t translate into what people saw. Of course, it is far easier to accept that when you aren’t on the floor making little mistakes.

In the end, the above quote is true. It doesn’t matter how many people tell you that you are a good dancer, if your insecurities prevent you from believing it. It doesn’t have to turn into an ego thing where you start to think that you can do no wrong. But it isn’t wrong to acknowledge the skills that you do have.

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