We have four dance lessons left. Yesterday we had a lesson with a teacher we don’t normally work with because our usual guy was out of town at a competition. It was different and fun. She gushed over how excited she was to work with us. She’s been asking our main guy for months if she could borrow us, apparently.
It was a kind of weird session for me. She was SO EXCITED to work with us. She is delighted that we are rule breakers who are not trying to memorize how to do everything by the books. She says most of her clients want to be proper. I said I’ve been dancing for almost two decades. I can’t give a shit about proper. I’m having fun.
I feel like she explained some things better than our usual guy. I feel like she had some ability to break down a few steps that he isn’t quite as clear about. I felt like if we broke her in proper she could be a fantastic dance teacher for us.
By “break her in proper” I mean that Noah needs feedback in some very specific ways that do not meld well with normal dance teaching. Don’t tell him he’s doing great because he’s spirited when he’s doing a step wrong. He will get very upset. It is better to tell him 900 times that he’s doing it wrong. He’ll like you more. That’s not common.
She started to say, “If you practice for a while you won’t have to think about it anymore and you’ll just feel it.” I interrupted her to say, “Oh please god don’t say that to him. No, he won’t and he will hate you for lying to him.” She was a little startled but listened when we broke down how mechanical dancing is for Noah. There is nothing intuitive about dancing for him. He goes through obsessive lists in his head of what to do and how to do it. He thinks about his shoulders and elbows and hands and hips and feet and head and does checks every few seconds. I can see him twitch as he goes through the list.
But dance teachers want people to feel dance. Good for you dance teacher! What Noah gets from dance isn’t an intuitive floaty feeling it’s a “Yay my wife is happy with me.” Which isn’t fair and I think he puts way too much effort in for the amount of payoff he gets… but that’s what he gets. Let’s not act like he’s going to suddenly be in touch with his body, m’kay?
She told us that everyone in the studio likes watching us dance because we are really good and really confident and we don’t care if we are doing it right. Which I find funny. I will totally do things that go against their instruction. When they say, “You are supposed to do….” I say, “Yeah that doesn’t work for me and this does. So I’m doing this.”
Arthur Murray has Rulez. I don’t care. I’m not aiming for Arthur Murray competition so I don’t need to follow your rules. I’m looking to be vaguely physical and have more kinds of exercise that are fun with my partner. So rock on with your precision… I don’t care.
I phrase it that I am allergic to competition. I am not there to be judged.
The thing is: I know I’m shitty. I know I’m not a good person. I’m not a good technical dancer. I’m never going to win an award at anything in this whole shitty world. I know. I know I’m not good. That’s fine. I don’t need to stand in front of judges and have them tell me how shitty I am.
I just… don’t need it.
I need it to be ok that I’m mediocre and shitty and not that good and I don’t need to be. I’m having fun. My partner is having fun.
Who cares if I am “technically accomplished” at dance?
I don’t want to feel better than anyone. I don’t want to aspire to that feeling, ever. Could I put in shit tons of work and get better at physical skills and maybe win a contest? Maybe.
But then I’d make someone else feel like they were shittier than me.
No thank you.