There are no mistakes on the dance floor. What we think of as a “mistake” is really an shortcoming in perception, a failure to perceive what someone else is putting out there.
Hey, here’s a crazy idea. What would happen if we started to really BELIEVE that about our dancing?
Well, instead of starting every conversation with, “here’s what went wrong,” we might get to really appreciate our own and our partner’s creativity. We might be more open to new ideas, to new ways of doing things. We might dance in and with our bodies instead of getting mad at them for betraying us at the crucial moment. (Et tu, corpus?) We might listen to the music.
The really nutball thing is, we all know how freakin’ awesome those states of being are. We’ve all experienced them, at some time or another, even if only for a few seconds. It’s why we keep dancing!
But what if we really BELIEVED that there are no mistakes on the dance floor? I mean, it sounds good and all, and it’s a nice thought, but who really BELIEVES it?
This cat does. Stefon Harris is a slammin’ jazz musician – he plays the vibraphone. Dude, anybody who literally PLAYS VIBES knows good vibes when he lays ’em down. And he gave a really great TED talk about this very idea. There are no mistakes on the bandstand, he said, and then he goes on to prove it.
There are a lot of excuses we can all make about why that might be true for Stefon but not for us, but here’s my challenge: try it.
Seriously. What are you out? It’s free (recession friendly!), it’s totally internal (you don’t even have to TELL anybody you’re changing your perspective), and if it sucks, you can blow it off and go back to rolling along how you usually do. But try it. Go into your next lesson, your next social dance, your next comp, or just your next practice in front of a mirror and say, “hey, there are no mistakes here, just chances to be better at perception. Rock on.”
I’m here to say: I’m a believer.