Find A Mentor
What keeps you from improving? Is it lack of formal education or training? Lack of resources or opportunities in your area? Is it just not knowing what to do next? Consider asking someone to mentor you. Be specific in your request with what you hope to accomplish and a time frame. You may be surprised how many possible mentors would say yes.
I recently became aware of my need for a mentor. September 20, 2019 I participated in the Vegas Dance Explosion Choreography Competition. I've been line dancing weekly for about 3 years now and really enjoying myself. I had a song stuck in my head and just needed to choreograph something to it. I went to enter the dance into the VDE competition, but the division for that dance was full! Ugh. I wanted to see how the dance would do. It's one thing for friends to like your dance, but would strangers? I had a little over a week to create a new dance and I was stuck because I had poured out my heart and soul into this dance.
In college, I had a professor, who would say creating art is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. I would get so mad at him because he didn't seem to understand I couldn't do the 99% without the 1%! You can create good conditions for the 1%, but you can't force it. Also, 99% work that has 0% inspiration is just....uninspired! Fortunately, my husband had the 1% inspiration and came up with a great contra line dance idea. He also had a beginning and an end, I just had to come up with a middle and just like that we had a dance to submit for the competition.
You should know that I'm not really competitive. I don't like competition. It doesn't thrill me, it rather terrifies me because I put way too much pressure on myself. I try to relax and tell myself it doesn't matter but my body seems to have a mind of its own. So why compete? At some point, I need feedback on how I'm doing and where I can improve, so I have to put myself out there.
I survived the competition on 4 hours of sleep and a headache. I was a little disappointed in how everything went, but mostly, relieved that it was over and I somehow made it through. I came in third place with our dance. I think third was the best I could do on my own. I don't have a local person who is better trained in line dance than I am. The locals couldn't tell me how to set the level of the dance or properly write up the choreography. I had to teach myself. After receiving my competition results from the judges I shared my frustrations with the choreography competition coordinator. I told her that based on the judges scores I know I've done things wrong, but I don't know what I did wrong or how to improve. I don't have anyone to help me fix my mistakes. She was so kind to listen to my dilemma and then she offered to mentor me. She explained that's how she won the competition once upon a time, she had a mentor who helped her. I'm so glad she offered because I wouldn't even have thought to ask? The mentoring will have to be done via Skype because she lives in the bay area and I'm in L.A., but I'm so glad to have a way forward in improving my skills as a well rounded line dance instructor.
Is there something you want to improve in your life? Some skill you'd like to take to the next level? My 1% inspiration for you is this: "Seek out a mentor." Now the 99% work is up to you. Good Luck!
Here is the third place dance to "A Nightmare on My Street" by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. Enjoy it at your Halloween party this year. Find the video teach here: A Nightmare on my Street
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