Tag Archives: improvement

Follow Up to True Improvement

I had some more thoughts to add to True Improvement post.

1) Andrew had an awesome post in which he talks about how he improves by dedicating practice time.

I think its important to set up your priorities. If your priority is to just have the most fun ever when you are dancing, then having fun should be what you focus on the most when you dance! If you feel that the most fulfilling way for you to exist is to constantly improve your dancing, then read on…

2) Daniel sent me this awesome video, which is just perfect:

I think when we say that practice makes perfect, it’s not entirely true. It’s practicing the right way. Knowing what you are not so good at, sucking it up, and honestly working on it. My first teacher used to say that it’s like eating your vegetables. IT SUCKS, I know. For me, that is focusing on one of the multitude of things I am not so good at and working on it anytime I’m dancing (class, practice, social dance) for however long (usually months) until it slowly creeps into my muscle memory.

I have this dichotomy that exists in my brain between wanting to have fun, just forgetting about everything, and enjoying dancing and while also wanting, SO desperately, to fix all those different parts of my dancing which are honestly terrible. Obviously there are times where I abandon my practice mindset for a few songs. But I know those few songs, or moments, I’m not actually improving my dancing at all. I’m just having fun. That’s cool too!

It’s important, at least for me it is, not to trick yourself into thinking that when you’re not thinking about your dancing critically (when you’re just having fun) that you are improving. You might be improving at having fun, but you won’t have any quantifiable improvement in your dancing. For me, the times when I feel like I’m improving the most is when it is the hardest for me focus on the thing I am working on. On that note…

3) A thought from Daniel and Dax Hock, who mentioned this in a conversation I was eavesdropping on, was that the closer we actually get to that threshold of progress the more discomfort we feel. And when we can stand that discomfort for just a moment longer is when we break that threshold and truly improve and progress.

Just something to think about.

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True Improvement

In a recent and enlightening (as always) chat with Daniel Young, we realized something about true improvement.

Everyone has these waves where sometimes we feel amazing about our dancing and every night we go out we have an awesome time. But is this when we are truely getting better as dancers?

I know when I am working on something in my Lindy Hop I think about it every single dance I have. Right now one of the things I’m focusing on is keeping the pulse throughout my dancing, so every time I dance, this is all I think about. It sucks. It feels like I am not dancing. But this is the only time I feel that I improve in my dancing.

The most difficult part of this for me is keeping up with it until it is in my muscle memory and I don’t have to think about it. Then that’s when I can have my next wave of feeling awesome in my dancing. The problem is being honest with myself and focusing on that one thing I’m working on as much as I can. It is easy to forget about it and fall back into not caring and just dancing and having fun.

Having fun is important, but you have to be honest with yourself about what you want from the dance. If all you want is to have fun, that’s so awesome! Focus on that! If your goal is to make yourself the best dancer you can be, than keep your focus on that and you’ll be fulfilled beyond anything else you have ever done.

We have the most fun dancing is when we improve our abilities the least.

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