I’ve been involved with dance for 27 years. I started with ballet and moved on to other types of dance. Picking up choreography should be easy by now, right?
Not really. The past two weeks I’ve had my ass handed to me. There’s one particular dance that I just can’t wrap my brain around. My feet don’t want to go in the right place. When I concentrate on my arms, I end up missing my mark. If I concentrate on my feet, I get my arms in the wrong position. I can’t seem to keep everything in my head at once, and some movements completely baffle me.
This is my fourth season with my current dance group, and despite my previous training, I’m still a novice with them. Many of the other dancers have been with the group more than a decade, some for almost 20 years. It’s terrifying to feel like the weakest dancer, that I might mess up the rehearsals, screw up the show, to get yelled at, to be a disappointment. It’s stressful struggling to keep up, and learn faster. I’ve lost sleep over it. I’ve considered quitting.
I’ve been in the other position, the seasoned dancer, but it’s all relative. It feels good to be confident that you know what you’re doing, but it’s also boring. When it’s easy, when it becomes routine, when I’ve stopped learning, that’s when it’s time for me to jump ship. The challenge is why I keep coming back.
When you’re surrounded by extremely talented people, you get pushed to do better. Maybe you’re not going to be the best in that group, but you may find that you’re capable of more than you believed.
The same thing applies to writing. We all have certain things we’re good at, and might come easy to us, but the writing should be frustrating at times too. The frustration is a sign that we’re still learning, and that we still have things to learn. It’s a sign that we’re pushing ourselves further than we have before.
I will get this. It might take me a while to learn this dance. It might take doing it every day until the movement is in my body, but even if it seems daunting, I know I will get this. I’ll be as good as I am capable of.
May you also be surrounded by talented people. May you also be frustrated.
What’s one thing that frustrates you when you write? For me it’s story beginnings.