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Little Details VS Big Picture Dancing

We all know that dancing well requires a lot of attention to detail. In fact, many students, especially competitive ones, can get so addicted to detail that it buries them. ‘Dancing’ ceases to be fun, and becomes one frustrating drill after another.

The ‘little details’ of dancing are essential for improvement, but without a confident base to spring from, we become insecure, superficial, and dependent on others to tell us how good we are. We can avoid this by focusing on the ‘big picture’ of dancing – what’s really important, and why we dance in the first place. Here’s a few examples:

Making a Mistake

Little details: Mistakes should be avoided at all costs. They result from not knowing your material well enough, so the solution is to spend additional time practicing so you can train your body with better habits. A dance without mistakes is a perfect dance.

Big picture: ‘Mistakes’ are inevitable… And they’re good for you! They are how we spot areas that need improvement – and there will always be something you can improve. Great dancers learn not to be stopped or frustrated by mistakes. They simply learn their lesson, and move on.

The Opinions of Others

Little details: Being a dancer often includes becoming a part of the community, and winning the respect and admiration of those around you. The more important that is to you, the more you need to dress, dance, and conduct yourself in an ideal way. Who you actually are is something best hidden away.

Big picture: Respect is nice, but staying true to yourself comes first. And it’s far less stressful when you don’t care about what others think. You might not have as many friends, but the ones you have will be authentic like you. They will stick with you when others wouldn’t, because they like you for you, not who you pretend to be.

Being Successful

Little details: Succeeding in dance means a long, never-ending road of drilling to gain a precise control over your body. If you social dance, you want to have the best dances with the best partners. If you compete, you want the judges to view you favourably in order to win. No matter what, you’re always in a race against somebody else.

Big picture: The Dance Race is long, but in the end, it’s only with yourself. Draw satisfaction from beating your personal best, rather than measuring it in dance partners and judges scores. The latter will come and go, but the former you can keep with you forever.

We’ll be back next week with three more ways to practice ‘big picture’ dancing!


About the Author

Ian Crewe has been dancing ballroom for over 18 years, and has a Licentiate in American smooth and rhythm. His passion for dance eventually led him to blogging and the World Wide Web. Ian currently teaches at the Joy of Dance Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.

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