This past weekend I was at the Boston Tea Party in Massachusetts, attending in tow with a bunch of my Penn State buddies for all of us to compete in the Jack and Jill under the Newcomer category.
To make a long story short, I didn’t make the finals of the competition. To say I was frustrated afterwords, would be a slight understatement. Starting in November, I decided I would work hard to try to place in the finals in this competition. I followed all the advice that people throw out about “taking your dancing to the next level”; traveling to different events on weekends, dancing frequently, asking for feedback from follows, and even taking one of those expensive privates from a well known international instructor. That one hour after reading the call-back sheets I have never probably felt as worthless as a dancer in the last two years.
After that period of moping, I realized could either; a) Mope around more and be a downer in a room that probably had some of the best dancers from all around North America or b) Suck it up, learn from the experience, move on and dance with some awesome people. I decided to do the smart thing and go back out there, in result I witnessed an awesome jam, had a fun dance with a Canadian friend of mine to Shiny Stockings, and through that remembered the joy of Lindy Hop that I temporarily blinded myself to. I got so caught up into proving to myself via this past competition that I have “improved” that I lost sight of the reason I wanted to improve, so I could have a better potential to connect with and have fun with dancers of all levels.
I learned from this past weekend was while it is good to have goals for your dancing, you can’t let them define yourself. If things fall short you just have to take a deep breath, step back from the situation and see what you can learn from it and move on.