I just added a photo gallery to the website! Just a few shots from the competitions and showcases I’ve done to date. I plan on adding a page with links to some videos from my competitions as well. Honestly, I had the gallery pretty much ready to go about a week ago. But I didn’t want to hit “publish.” It’s scary to put yourself out there! It’s one thing to write about my competitions, but to add visual aids and announce “here I am!”… Yikes. It’s a risky thing to open yourself up to the opinions of others. Especially when you know you aren’t perfect, you’re still learning, and therefore, you’re more vulnerable to criticism.
I’m going to try to not delay publishing my video page too long. But it’s even scarier than the photos. I can see my mistakes or things that need improvement, so I’m sure others will too. I’m working to build my brand as the Girl with the Tree Tattoo and connect with other ballroom dancers. So why share examples of my imperfect dancing?
One reason is I’m trying to desensitize myself to criticism and judgement, both external and internal. I love ballroom, but I struggle with the fear that I don’t really belong or I will be rejected if I’m not good enough. I joke about being the servant girl borrowing my mistress’ gown so I can sneak into the ball. But that’s how I see myself sometimes, and how I’m afraid others will see me. I made my tea with hot water from my hotel bathroom because I didn’t have Starbucks in my comp budget, remember? When I’m projecting the next month’s expenses and carefully timing payment of my bills with my paychecks and figuring out if I can or should spend that $15 to take that extra group class this week or that $20 to attend that workshop next weekend, it’s easy to feel sorry for myself and think I’m fooling myself if I think I belong in such a glamorous and expensive world. I don’t want this twisted fear of rejection/need for acceptance to hold me back, so I’m saying screw it, even if I wasn’t perfect, I was dancing my best at the time the videos were made. And that’s what matters, right? My demons aren’t convinced, so putting myself out on the Web and surviving whatever judgement may or may not come should help change their minds or at least shut them up.
Another reason to put myself out there is to inspire others to dare to do the same! We all hate watching ourselves on video because we focus on the mistakes. And we set really high expectations for ourselves, basically perfection. I’m declaring that I am not perfect but I love what I’m doing and I want to share my passion with others, even if the execution needs some work. This is me, take it or leave it. The other great thing about sharing is we can learn from one another! Maybe another female student shares a video of her foxtrot and inspires me to try a different arm styling. Or someone shares a video showing something they’ve been struggling with and connects with someone else having the same issue! Isn’t it so much easier to tackle a problem when you know you’re not alone?
So stay tuned! Wonderfully imperfect dance videos coming soon!