I have tried a few different forms of dance, and while many instructors told me I was naturally good, I never before felt like I was actually a “good” dancer. I was always a hands on student in high school, so maybe that’s why dancing worked for me. I’ve done yoga for a long time too though, and can easily follow an instructor from mostly visual cues with some talking through. So maybe all of this together, my brain is wired and trained to see, listen, and change what I’m hearing into movement on the fly. Despite learning fast in dance, I always felt like I was more of a beginner though.
A little background before I explain what I mean. I was researching dance studios in Colorado Springs, and I found a teacher who had two classes. One was labeled as “Beginner/Intermediate” and the other as “Intermediate/Advanced”. Now you can’t blame me for being a bit confused as to which class I would fit in. I’m no beginner anymore. I’ve been dancing for around 2 years! I also don’t think I’m advanced either, since I’ve only been dancing for about 2 years. I did wonder, however, if I was intermediate enough to take the more advanced class.
This weekend was when it hit me. I could probably take that class. While I was by no means the best dancer on the stage, maybe that’s because I had close to least experience and our troupe leader has been dancing for almost 30 years, I didn’t stick out. I knew all the moves, and could do everything. The hard part was the speed and my brain keeping up, of course.
In the situation I had been in, I’ve been forced to take easier classes over and over and over again. Not because I wasn’t able to move on to a higher level, but because all the levels were in one class. There were a few times that everyone had been dancing for longer, but because of my natural ability, or perhaps I just practiced more than some other dancers out side of class, I was still not feeling super challenged.
Then came the invitation to the troupe. WOW, did I get my butt kicked! Plus I was behind in learning all the dances because I missed 2 rehearsals and we only had maybe 7 or 8 total. I also missed one opportunity to have the dances broken down slowly for me. I was literally thrown into the middle of these dances done at full speed. And I pulled it off! You should have seen how good we all looked too. I wonder how I would have done if I had gotten to start learning from earlier on.
Either way, I finally feel comfortable calling myself a dancer.