Things change. Nothing stays the same. Older generation dance sport competitors will almost always hate the way youngsters “express themselves”. Yet, styles and dancing changes, and we hope, for better.
Despite the ‘trash’ talk you would occasionally hear from well retired coaches, like “Dancing is not the same anymore, we used to do it this way…”, just know that deep down they are coming from a good place. Imagine if dancing would only consist of young people. We’ll probably end up somewhere in gymnastics!
So, what drives our industry forward?
Coaches & Teachers
Old and young, emotional and not so much, coaches & teachers of ballroom dancing come in all shape and sizes. Some you are able to choose, some are chosen for you. They are our ground zero, our base, our structure and balancer, and hopefully a wise and objective eye on our dancing. Some are good with basics and can bring you up from a complete newbie to a pretty seasoned dancer. Some are great with choreography and creativity. Others are really good psychologists and will make you think about ‘what is it that you’re trying to show me with this move’. And rarely you will find an All-In-One whom you’d have an amazing connection with and would want to stay forever.
Haven’t you heard that one a lot? I’m sorry to tell you, but your clean win might not always be that “clean”. Of course your technique is over the top and your dancing is marvelous, but if you are not known – you are not seen. A good coach will have a good strategy on how to make their couple “known”, and there are numerous “creative” ways of doing that. Sometimes dancers just don’t have the power to influence the final placement. And, no matter how objective the judging system is, the subjective ‘liking’ and ‘disliking’ factor will always be there. Perhaps, the best thing for a dancer is to focus on the dancing, and not on the final result. But, without a doubt, this is part of our industry and definitely part of our growing process.
Uniqueness & Creativity
Every dancer is unique, they just don’t know it yet.
If dancers would fully repeat what their coaches tell them without adding their inner ‘feel’ to it, they would look like soulless machines. There has got to be something beyond endless hours of patterns, repetition and technique. A unique dancer is seen right away, as they invite spectators into their world and, indeed having a positive, or even negative response from the crowd is better, than having no reaction at all. Usually top dancers create trends and inspire younger generation of dancers to copy them and discover their own unique-selves. This is the way it was done before, and this is the way it will always be.
Timing and Higher Powers
Just like highlights in music, everything has it’s own time. When you thought of yourself being left out of the final means “world’s conspiracy” against your dancing persona – I’m sorry! But, you’re just petting your ego!
Relax, I was there, so I’m allowed to say that…
In the meantime, maybe (and, just ‘MA-Y-BE’) it is not the right time for you to be in that final. Perhaps you need to learn something from this, like – the whole experience of ‘Not Making It Into The Final’. Take a deep breath! Imagine a sparkly-white unicorn with blue eyes, jumping on a rainbow and singing: “I love you! Forever…”, and just…
… accept the fact that all of this is a growing process.
Author: Egor Shalvarov
Photography: Elena Anashina
Exclusively for Dance Comp Review