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centerpointe

How Long Before I Get Good?

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How Long Before I Get Good?

Post  meenakshi on Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:12 pm

Dear All,

Enjoy another article from the Gentleman - Don Barrns. A True inspiration to all.

Love
Meenakshi

How Long Before I Get Good?

When I was just a new pup in the dancing scene, I thought as soon as I lapped up a few more moves and took a few more classes, I would be a pretty good dancer. I tried to go to every class possible, thinking I was just a few classes away from everything working great.

Well here's the good, bad and ugly. You can have fun salsa dancing in the first 4 to 12 weeks, plus or minus 6-18 months, depending on your personality and previous dance experience. If you want to be an elite dancer, the average person is a 3-5 year work in progress to get to the upper 20%, then another 3-5 years to get into the top few percent. (BTW - Those are exact scientific time lines, with no room for variations.)

Even though it had taken me years to become a decent musician, I thought dancing had to be easier. While I had never danced, I've watched hundreds and hundreds of dances as a musician, and I knew the music. I mean, look at all those other guys doing it. Some were much heavier, smarter, dumber, less coordinated, uglier, older, younger, less athletic, less coordinated, unable to rub their tummy and pat their head at the same time, and a few looked like they needed medication to calm down a bit. It seemed if they could do it, I should be able to make short work of this. (New guys look at me that way today.)

If you can already dance anything, including the macarena, robot, a little Michael Jackson moon-walking, jazz, ballet and/or pole, river or country line dancing, and you would do it in public in front of a group of people, you will probably be having fun in the weeks range. If you did gymnastics, martial arts, cheerleading or other sports requiring balance and body control, your time line will be significantly shorter than some others.

If you are like me, someone who NEVER danced once in a club until after age 43, it may be a little toward the longer end of that scale. Fun doesn't take long but real competence does take some time.

Here's the funny thing: It really doesn't matter except to you! Nobody looks at me and says "What a loser, he took two years to do things others were doing in six months." In some areas I started much slower than others, but I've also blown past many of my peers who started with me because I worked on fundamentals longer then most, which allowed me to accelerate my learning AFTER a certain tipping point. But there are always a bunch of new people starting to dance (and hopefully next year some of your friends will start), and they don't know I was a slow starter.

I remember people saying "just have fun." Well guess what? I'm that type of person who doesn't find my personal incompetence fun. For me, I needed a baseline of skills and THEN I started to have fun with it. I see other guys having fun the first few weeks they are dancing. But I hated asking someone to dance with this type of line: "Would you like to dance? Oh... by the way, I only know about 2.3 moves, and I'm not sure how they really fit together yet, so be patient with me..."

There are some people who have looked like me during their start-up period, but their personality is such that they didn't care (or they consumed some liquid courage at the bar.) I wish I were that type of personality sometimes, but that is just not within my comfort zone. But I always knew once I passed a certain point, I would also be having fun and I wanted to be in that above average group.

Today, most of the time I have a great time, but I always look forward to being a stronger dancer. It's certainly like all the other arts, you never truly master dancing, you simply learn how to enjoy the ride and look forward to the next step in the journey.

Now, even as a more mature pup, I still drool sometimes, watching the more mature dancers and wanting to be at that level. But we all get to a point where the ride is fun, even if we get a few bugs in our mouth along the way.

If you are wondering when you'll be good, realize that "good" is a sliding scale that changes as you become more mature. Instead of shooting for being "good" by date XX, you might consider getting better regularly, picking up new tricks every week or month. What is facinating is if you just don't stop, and you continue to learn, you'll look back and be amazed at your progress.

Keep taking lessons and classes, dance as much as you can, find a few other people at your level, and keep refining what you know. You may do it faster or slower than me, but don't stop learning.

Enjoy your ride and stick your head out the window, enjoying the music blowing by: it's worth the effort.
If a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing slowly... very slowly.
-Gypsy Rose Lee
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meenakshi
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Re: How Long Before I Get Good?

Post  meenakshi on Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:39 pm

Reading this article reminded me of someone. Someone I met at the class and was just chatting with him. He asked me why I joined the class ?? I replied "Just for the Love of dance". When I questioned him back, he told me that he had come there "Just for fun". Hearing that my obvious next question to him was "So are you having fun??" and not much to my surprise , he answered NO.

His reason for not having fun was that since he was not a dancer, he could not get the moves right and hence was not enjoying it. I asked him a few other questions and in sum could realise that he never was regular for the class and he never took efforts to practice his moves. I am sure there would be many among us all who think the similar way. For all who identify with this I just have a few words to say, "To break the rules one should learn them well".

Please read the article above very carefully to know what I am trying to say. I don't think anybody could not have explained it better.

To be honest friends, in my personal opinion NOTHING is EASY in life, at the same time MOST of the things are POSSIBLE. And mind you well DANCE is one of them. It is wonderful to have people from different age groups, different professional backgrounds and also different cultural backgrounds with whom we interact.We are all here to have fun Arent we???? So lets make sure that we have fun and let our friends have fun too. Lets make this journey memorable, something that we can cherish for life.

I hope that helped. I also apologize if I may unknowingly have hurt anybody's feelings. Trust me friends its only for our good.

Happy Dancing.....

With lots of love,
Meenakshi..... Smile
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meenakshi
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Number of posts : 189
Age : 35
Location : South Mumbai
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Re: How Long Before I Get Good?

Post  Sheetal on Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:54 am

I simply LOVE this post Meenakshi...specially this line..."If a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing slowly... very slowly."

Thanks for sharing this.

Love
S.
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Sheetal
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Re: How Long Before I Get Good?

Post  meenakshi on Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:54 am

Sheetal wrote:I simply LOVE this post Meenakshi...specially this line..."If a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing slowly... very slowly."

Thanks for sharing this.

Love
S.

I agree with you sheetal....The single line just sums it all up so beautifully.
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meenakshi
Excellent Member
Excellent Member

Female
Number of posts : 189
Age : 35
Location : South Mumbai
Job/hobbies : Architecture,Dance and travel........
Humor : Friendly, sometimes witty
My Salsa Skill Level :
1 / 1001 / 100

Registration date : 2008-11-13

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Re: How Long Before I Get Good?

Post  Guest on Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:52 pm

meenakshi, this was the best among all ur posts.

Guest
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Re: How Long Before I Get Good?

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