I have met very few dancers who feel they dance “Well Enough”.
Most of the people who do feel that way are individuals who either:
- Think they know it all (if you’re this person, go read about DES); or,
- Really don’t love with a burning passion this thing we call dance, and see it more as a casual pastime.
If you’re the casual pastime person: all the power to you. Keep dancing. Keep enjoying dance for its role in your life; you don’t need to go further than your enjoyment of this art form takes you. If you are safe, respectful, and joyful to dance with, you are dancing well enough.
If you are a dancer who really wants to dance well enough:
If you love this thing – if this is a thing you want to engage in with every fibre of your being – then it is worth putting in the effort. Once you put in that effort, you are dancing well enough.
Amateur chefs can be great cooks who cook well enough because of their dedication and work. On the other hand, people like me, who really are perfectly OK with reheated leftovers, takeout, and cheap ramen/raw veggies as their go-to foods, are still able to cook well enough. Seriously, just give me the noodles and let me go dancing – what I’m doing is enough to keep me fed!
However, if I loved cooking and wanted to excel at it, what I currently do would not be well enough.
My Own Personal Battles with Well Enough
In dance, I still see all the areas where I am not yet good enough for my tastes. I want better balance, better styling, better strength, better control. I want impeccable connection. I want to be an amazing teacher, an epic performer, and a great social dancer. I want to be inspirational. I want to be a community leader. Even as I master my ability to hold 10 tilted Zouk turns in a row and to do some pretty crazy table-drops, I want to be able to hold a perfect single-footed skater spin for many, many rotations.
I have met many goals… but even as I reach goals, I still want to improve all the other goals I’ve already met. And that’s ok – because I can want to improve, have goals and still be dancing well enough.
I dance well enough to inspire and teach my students. I dance well enough to perform on stage with my partner. I dance well enough to have a good time when I go out social dancing.
I will never be everyone’s favourite person to dance with. Even Tatiana of WCS, Paulina of Salsa, and Larissa of Zouk are not every person’s favourite dancers. For each person who likes them, there’s at least one other who idolizes another figure in the scene. And that’s also OK.
Coming to Well Enough
In the end, well enough is a subjective journey. No matter where in your dance journey you are, if you have put in the love and effort that you want to give to dance, you are dancing well enough. If you are open to learning more, you are dancing well enough.
I teach Zouk, and I dance well enough because I am constantly seeking to improve and give more of myself to this art form. I am only a social WCS dancer at this point – with a desperate need for more training – but I dance well enough to go out dancing and have a good time. Why? Because I have given what I can to this dance to be happy, based on my resources and wants at this time.
- The beginner with two left feet is dancing well enough.
- The person who has been trying for years to get better is dancing well enough (even, dear Westies, if you are still in Novice).
- The local teacher fostering the community is dancing well enough.
- Your favourite champion is dancing well enough.
And, my dear dancer, you are dancing well enough.
If you have ever met someone who needs to hear this (Or, if you are the one who needed to hear it), please share so that all dancers can know that they are enough in this wonderful, passionate world we call the dance community.
Photo Credit: SV Photography