If vulnerability is the path forward (and I think it probably is), then it’s time to put that into practice. I can be very insecure, and it’s time to talk about that in the hopes that it will help others to discuss where they feel uncomfortable as well.
As a starting point, I generally see myself as a pretty confident person, and I think that perception is matched by others. On the dance floor, my style has been at times as ‘cocky’ or, at the very least, ‘dancing big.’
I’m not as thoroughly self-assured as all that though. In fact, there are a lot of insecurities lurking below that veneer, and I think it’s good for everyone, myself especially, if I share those and talk about them.
Monsters in the dark are usually much less scary in the light of day.
Note: The point of this isn’t to garner lots of feel-good compliments. It’s exploratory.
So, without further ado:
An incomplete list of my dance insecurities:
- I smell bad. Objectively I’m pretty sure that I don’t most of the time, but I still fear it. You wouldn’t believe the number of ‘smellfies’ I take throughout the night, making sure the ‘ol pits of doom haven’t made me that guy on the dance floor. I usually have deodorant in my dance bag.
- That people hate me for dancing big. I’ve got long limbs and I like to move them around a lot. It’s really fun! But every once in a while I let that long-limbed-ness get the better of me and bump into others on the floor. I’m afraid that I’m developing a reputation for being an ass. I have tried to work on it, but sometimes it’s just where the music takes me.
- That I’m not good enough. Probably no surprise to find this on the list: I think many of us have this lurking under the surface. It’s tough to accept where you are in the face of where you wish you were. When I see that pro I want to dance with, a little voice in my head says that she or he would probably not have fun dancing with me anyways, so why bother? It’s insidious. People think I’m a good dancer, but am I really? Or am I just faking it? Impostor syndrome rears it’s ugly head.
- That I’m falling behind. Closely related to the previous, it always seems like everyone is advancing their dancing by leaps and bounds while I tread water. In reality, I shouldn’t be in competition with anybody but myself, but that’s often easier said than done, especially for someone who burns to win. If I look back it is clear that my dancing is improving, yet still the perception persists.
- That dancing doesn’t matter in the grand scheme. Another heavy-hitter, this one is existential. Does any of this matter? Am I working some kind of good in the world, or am I taking up resources for little global payoff? This will probably depend a lot on your philosophy on life overall, and it’s not a question to be answered lightly. Does dance matter? It seems to matter to me, but is that reasonable? Is reasonability the right metric here? I am not sure.
- That I’m creepy. Most people who come off as creepy don’t know it. What if that’s me? I know how I think I am perceived by others, but I can’t know what they’re actually experiencing. What if I creep some people out? Would anybody tell me, or would I continue on like some leery
- That I’m not capable of doing the work. There’s a lot of self-work that goes into improving yourself as a dancer. What if I’m not capable of doing it? In that case I’d better quit now and save my time, right? Really, I should probably just enjoy the process of working on it at all, but I’m not always so amenable to that.
These aren’t debilitating fears–I still get up on the floor and dance all of the time–but they do lurk in the background, unacknowledged. They try to convince me that the fantastic dance I just had probably wasn’t really that great. I may have just gotten lucky there, it wasn’t due to any sort of skill on my part.
These are works in progress, a consistent struggle to re-negotiate my dance reality in favor of something constructive instead of destructive.
Where do your insecurities lie?
What are your dance insecurities? What would be less scary for you if brought into the light of day?
I want to know, so please reach out in the comments!
Let’s work on this together.
Until next time, I’ll see you out on the floor.