4 Excuses to Ban From Your Next Dance Lesson
If you didn't know, as a human, you're prone to excuses.
Well, maybe not you, but your alter-ego stunt double who opts out of most things outside of their comfort zone, making them less of a stunt double and more of a sad liability.
So whether it's you, or your "excuse-double", let's shed some light on some common excuses, add some necessary context, and explore some solutions to make the most of your dance lessons.
1. It's my partner's fault
Imagine, hundreds of years ago, partner dancing was invented. Then, inevitably, the very next day, blaming your partner was invented. It's a tale as old as time, as long as that tale is about how your partner messed up and not you.
Think of this like...
A foul called in a pro sporting event, a misunderstanding at work, or the conversation that took place the last time your younger sibling was crying after you were playing too rough.
Back to dancing
Partner dancing is a catalyst for developing everything from self confidence to physical fitness, but not many people realize the huge opportunity for leveling up in the skill of personal accountability. You see, your dance partner is the only person, outside of yourself, that can be easily blamed for dance problems (unless you've got the guts to blame your teacher, your dance studio, the music, or the universe).
Due to this consistent, readily available, target of your dance blame, it creates plenty of opportunities to encounter, and eventually rethink, the blame game.
Without question, the book QBQ by John G. Miller is a must-read for any social dancer, or sociable person. The book explores the many ways we fall into blame-first, victim thinking, and creates easy to install adjustments to shift the focus to what you can control (i.e. you) and stop wasting time on what you can't (your partner, the music, the universe).
2. "I'm not trying to look like a professional"
If you missed the article, we covered some of the context behind this common concern in the article "You Don't Have to be a Professional Dancer".
This is similar to:
Imagine going into a buffet, seeing 3000 square feet of food, and telling your friends, "I can't eat all that food".
As crazy as that might sound, that much food could be a welcomed sight to some and a little overwhelming to others.
Back to Dancing;
This objection will come up from time to time when a student watches their teacher, or another student, demonstrate something at a high level. Their eyes take it in, their brain analyzes the available dance data, and a system error occurs.
Just like that buffet, anything that you are visually introduced to won't be forced upon you in one serving. You'll have a chance to take portions of it that suit your dance diet. Regardless of the Vegas Buffet-style demonstration, you'll always execute a version of the material that suits your personal style, goals, and physical potential.
3. Not fancy enough
For anyone struggling with #2, this excuse is the polar opposite. To some students, there are times when the basics just aren't enough, the fundamentals could use an upgrade, and the momentum of the lesson feels like it could use a little Turbo Boost.
Think of this like:
There are so many life parallels available when you visit the gym. So, naturally, there are plenty of dance metaphors to explore. In this case, the student that has a "not fancy enough" excuse can be the gym member that prefers the idea of heavier weights and fewer repetitions over form and higher repetition.
Back To Dancing
There are some people that feel like the basics serve no purpose, are boring, and far too pedestrian for their liking. Then there are others that understand the value of the basics, but just don't like the monotony of working on them constantly. But let's not forget, your teacher is not only teaching you, but is learning about your learning style and goals at the same time.
Basics are important, and attempting patterns that are outside of your skill level won't mask your lack of training either. The happy medium? Pace and purpose. The clearer the purpose is behind each layer of instruction, and when the pace is at a level that matches your desired intensity, progress is a guaranteed byproduct. Form and fundamentals are always going to be important, but who says it has to be repetitive and boring? No one. So chat with your teacher or studio manager so they can continue to calibrate and customize your dance journey.
4. This is Too Difficult
Do you know who else said that? Arthur Murray. Yep, the man that created the dance programs, books, tv show, and worldwide organization was a regular guy who wanted to learn how to dance just like anyone else.
Think of this like
In the same way Steve Jobs revolutionized the accessibility to computers and Jeff Bezos has changed the way we shop, Arthur Murray lowered the entry point to dance lessons so anyone could start.
Back to Dancing
Everything that is taught to you at Arthur Murray must pass the fun, quick, and easy test. If it isn't easy, it's really hard to have fun or move quickly. So you'll find that the instruction you receive comes to you in easy to digest layers. From time to time you'll run into a pattern, technique, or multi-tasking skill that throws you for a loop, in those cases it's important to know that there is a curve of learning, that your teacher is working behind the scenes to minimize the turnaround time, and, before long, you'll laugh that you ever struggled with it.
One dance problem isn't worth your dance hobby. In fact, it just confirms that you are expanding your comfort zone, are pushing your brain and body to the limit, and creating room for these new skills to take up permanent residence. If you're wavering in your own belief in your progress, we'd recommend that you arrange a progress check with a studio executive right away.
Aside from our human tendencies to find excuses, there's evidence that serves as undeniable proof that excuses can't stop you.
You walked in.
That's right. The moment you walked through the door to your very first appointment, you conquered the greatest barrier that has stopped more would-be dancers in all of dance history. You did that, and that's exactly the evidence you should focus on if any of these lesser-than excuses try to cloud your judgement, add an anchor to your momentum, or make you consider an unthinkable departure from this hobby as a whole.
So now, being the royal excuse conqueror that you are, it's time to lay waste to these four, and any more that come along in your dance journey.
Take your dance hobby to the next level by becoming an Arthur Murray LIVE subscriber! (It may make your teacher cry tears of joy... just sayin')