Tuesday, March 19, 2013

It's never as bad as you think...

Last January, when we did the Museum Quality intensive, I knew that I was going to present a piece where I would receive feedback. It was strangely more nerve racking than regular performing is nowadays. It eventually dawned on me that the issue was that, for once, I would hear out loud what folks were thinking while I was performing. And then I realized that it meant that I had moved beyond worrying what folks think about my performance. Believe me, it took me years to get there.

This is probably one of THE worst fear when one performs (at least for a while): what will people think?

Well, I've done a number of workshops now where there is a critique portion to your dancing and I've actually sought critiques from mentors and, let me tell you: it's never nearly as bad you think.

What is playing in your head, really, is your own self-critique (which is always way off, by the way) and your fears playing in your head. It sounds like a cliché to say this but you are your own worst critique.

Honestly, first of all, no one will ever tell you anyway what they think. Or if they do, they will restrict it to just talking about the good.

But you're still wondering, right? What else are they thinking?

Again, in my experience of receiving feedback, I've rarely received something that is out of left field... except actually for compliments. When it comes to the areas for improvement, the truth is that I often actually already knew what some of those were but either it hadn't bubbled up to the conscious level yet or I hadn't found a way to work on those items yet. It's very rare indeed that something will come out that you weren't aware of but it does happen.

So, again, it's not like you didn't self-critique already on those points.

The bottom line is that, indeed, you should do your own dance and don't give a *beep* about what other folks think. You'll think worse anyway. And, really, the only person that you should aim to please with your performance is you... but that is a topic deserving its own entry. ;)