"Dancing is like taking a mini vacation from the stress of every day — you have to be in the moment." Ofelia de la Valette
It’s fun to see people’s faces when I tell them I’ve taken up hip hop dancing. This announcement creates immediate cognitive dissonance for a few long seconds. Here’s how it happened.
My step daughter, Clara, is visiting us this summer from Paris. She is 13 years old and does not know many people here. If you’ve spent any time with teenagers, you know that being away from friends is not their preferred state of being. Clara’s been a great sport about it, but I wanted to find an activity that she would enjoy during her 6 weeks with us.
Hence, the hip hop class. The multiple ironies of dancing hip hop on Daniels Island with lovely young women wearing glittery hip hop sneakers and pink and black hip hop attire are not lost. (Smile.)
You see now I’ve made it through 4 classes and it’s such an incredible experience to be in that new learner’s position….again. Like any other endeavor, it’s harder than it looks. Defining differences are in the details. You can’t get to a level of competence, much less amazingness, without passing through moments where you do absolutely look like a complete idiot. (That does’t mean you have to archive those moments!)
But no matter how gifted you are, no one hands you those deep rewards of mastery. Talent never trumps persistence and hard work. In the case of hip hop, you also have to sweat a lot, literally.
If you have your own business, you’ve been there, where you didn’t know something and you felt stupid. If you make presentations, or write a blog, you know what I mean.
It’s that realization that X (fill in the blank) is almost ALWAYS harder than it looks, that you’re flailing and not shining, that stops people in their tracks. They don’t learn that second language. They don’t dance. They don’t try to launch that business. They stay on firm ground.
"So many people (of all ages) try something once or twice and move right on to The Next Big Thing before they really sink their teeth into something and give themselves a chance to achieve something great. Without addresssing this pattern, life can easily become a series of half-hearted attempts at multiple things with little to show for any of them." Angel Roberts, Peace Love Hip Hop
To achieve anything remarkable, you have to pass through the Phase of Looking Like a Complete Idiot. That is the obstacle that stops people more than the work itself.
But the benefits of taking that risk, that leap into looking foolish, are what make your life amazing.
Here are just a few of the benefits of going through the awkward beginner’s stage:
- You gain incredible confidence….even if you’re already confident.
- You relax!
- You meet and attract fabulous people to you.
- Your kids say they’re embarrassed but they’re really happy you have the guts.
- You get inspired.
- You see the world differently.
- You gain attitude!
- It’s FUN!
If you’re in the Charleston area, definitely Angel Roberts delivers a remarkable dance experience that will exceed your expectations. At $10 for a class, it’s a bargain…no matter how uncoordinated you are. Even if you have no sense of rhythym. Just sayin’. 🙂