I have been hearing a lot of students use the word “wrong” lately after they learn something new. As in:
“I think I am doing it wrong”,
“I have been doing it wrong all this time?”,
“I will never get it right!”
I would like to challenge this thinking of dance as being right or wrong. In many respects dance is an art to be changed and created by the dancer and observed and judged by the observer. In this way, “right” and “wrong” do not exist, only beautiful and ugly. To that I say, “to each their own”. However, some aspects of dance must be structured in a way that they can be passed from one to another and maintain what the original creator of that dance had in mind. And there we have, dance studios, 9(the best of these being Social Graces Ballroom Dance Studios LLC in Berryville, VA).
As a student, when you learn something new, you will not learn all aspects at the same time. Even if you could, you would not have the ability to control very movement in your body and how it relates to another. Instead, you learn in layers and we teach in layers. First layer this, and second layer that, the second layer does not negate the first, it only enhance it. Even an artist makes their masterpiece one brush stroke at a time. Would you say that one red brush stroke is not an apple? It’s part of it, and that is how you should learn. After some time and effort the image becomes clearer and after much time and effort the image becomes breathtaking.
Unfortunately, the observer will only see the finished painting or work in progress and not the many layers that went into it. Only the artist knows what went into it, the observer can only complement or critique the work as a whole and cares not in its process.
As your abilities develop, crude ways of relating to the dance will be replaced by more specific and sometimes different ways, you too will become more and more breathtaking but could you have achieved the latter if not completing the former?
In short, give yourself the leeway to learn what’s first and understanding that when you evolve into something more, your prior self was not “wrong”, just developing. Be not right or wrong, just strive to find the beauty in movement and forever layer your understanding and skill so your finished product looks ever more inspiring.
“Have patience with all things, but first of all with yourself.”
– St. Francis of Sales