Too Much Hate: Can We Really Dance Like No One’s Watching?

Dance like no one's watching, even if they are.

Dance like no one’s watching, even if they are.

I am sickened.

I am repulsed.

I know that I can be a bitch and that I can be mean and that I can be too blunt and that I can be unfriendly and that I can be downright unlikeable (heck, I don’t even know if I like myself). But I don’t go out of my way to hurt people. I don’t go out of my way to discourage people from doing things they enjoy just because they aren’t good at it.

It shocks me just how hateful people can be.

Today, I discovered just how much hate I have surrounding me. I’ve always known/suspected it was there, but now it’s been confirmed, and instead of feeling embarrassed or sad or humiliated or depressed or mortified by it, at first I was neutral and thoughtful about it. And now, after having some time to think about it, I am just plain mad.

My friend told me that, when I first started dancing, people — complete strangers — would come up to him and ask him, “Why are you encouraging her?” I was so bad that they wanted me to quit. They couldn’t understand why I didn’t quit. They had no idea who I was, and yet they went out of their way to try to get me to stop dancing. They didn’t personally know me or my friend, but still felt that *I* was their business. And they weren’t even ballsy enough to do it to my face — they had to try to go through my friend to do it, even though he hid this information from me until now because he didn’t know how I would take it. And I had it confirmed that people were the exact same way when I started solo dancing. I have had, and still have haters in every dance scene — EVERY dance scene. That, I am okay with. What I’m not okay with is the fact that people would go out of their way to try to stop a person they don’t even know from dancing. That they would take the trouble to go that far with it. The reason why my friend even told me this was because he’d asked, “Why did you even start dancing anyway?” and I’d said, “Because it was fun.”

I honestly think that I liked dancing more when I was horrible at it than I do now. The happiness I have lately been feeling while dancing was the kind of happiness I felt when I first started partner dancing — ballroom, salsa, swing, etc. — it made me SO happy to dance these dances, even though I didn’t know what the heck I was doing (and how could I have, when all I had were 30 min worth of beginner lessons for each?!).

Every summer, free dance events bring new beginners out every single week. Heck, every day, dances bring out enthusiastic new dancers. And the great majority of these dancers suck. How can they help it when some, like me, have never, ever danced before?

What. the. fuck.

This is not okay to me. Maybe I am the exception because I “stand out” and just particularly suck at EVERYTHING until something in my brain finally clicks and I finally get it, but I am disgusted to think that this could be happening to potential new dancers everywhere. The average person would simply curl up and die after hearing about even one person dissing them like this, but I don’t think I would have. It would have just made me even more determined to get better. But I am the exception. How can people be so cruel that they are able to do shit like this? WHY? I really want to know what drives people to go the extra mile to discourage others.

I have sucked at every dance I have ever taken on. Belly dancing, ballroom, salsa, swing, tango, west coast swing, kizomba, zouk, lindy, blues, fusion, hustle, hip hop, funk, popping, locking, house, waacking, breaking (dunno if I am missing any?). It’s almost unbelievable how bad I was at EVERYTHING and how hard it was for me to learn anything at all. I sucked so exceptionally that I had haters like this. And I had to experience the hate almost all within the same 1 to 2 years because I was taking on all the dances at the same time.

And I don’t suck anymore. I worked my ass off to get the simplest thing that every other person would pick up easily. I mixed up every dance and still mix up my dances. Just yesterday, a friend commented that my house looked like salsa and tango, and I looked at my reflection and fixed it right there and then.

If I knew who the people were who tried to get me to quit, they would immediately go on my blacklist, along with some incredible, most-sought-after leads who are so full of themselves that they think it is okay, or in fact their right, to fuck with a person’s feelings and make them feel unworthy of dancing with them. GET OVER YOURSELF. You had to start out somewhere yourself — please check your ego long enough to remember how you felt. I would rather dance with a nice person than a superb, but supremely arrogant, dancer.

I don’t think dance scenes can make me miserable anymore, after what I’ve just learned, because I don’t think they can have the power to hurt me anymore. Just prove yourself to be a person like this to me, and I won’t respect you enough to care about how you choose to treat me anymore. 

I’m going to make even more haters from this post. I’m going to lose more “friends.” I’m going to have people talk shit behind my back while not saying anything to my face. And I don’t give a fuck anymore.

I have my handful of friends who have stuck by me through my Canada Line craziness (if you don’t already know, I practice dancing on public transit and random public places, mostly the things that I most suck at) and all throughout my transformation into a legit freak pointed and laughed at on a regular basis for my decision to dance like no one’s watching, even though they are. I can say that I have friends who have proved that they support me and stand up for me without me having to be fake and changing who I am so they will like me. Can you say the same?

I’d rather know who my real friends are than surround myself with friends who only like me when I don’t suck at things and when I have to change who I am in order to fit in.

If you enjoy doing something, please keep on going. Please don’t let others make it their business to make you feel so bad about yourself that you have to quit. If you want it badly enough, you can find a way to do it, and even if you can’t, people don’t have the right to take away the happiness you derive from a simple activity. Don’t give them the power to do shit like that. Tell them (in your head, if you must) to fuck off and leave you alone.

To learn to dance like no one’s watching is a powerful, powerful thing.

Sorry and not sorry for all the profanity. It gets the point across.

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1 Comment

Filed under Dance attitudes, Dance Tips

One response to “Too Much Hate: Can We Really Dance Like No One’s Watching?

  1. You are awesome for putting your feelings out there and encouraging others to keep on dancing. One of my favorite quotes is “don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” Another is “You don’t have to be great to start but you need to start in order to be great.” We are much happier we find the courage to stop caring what other people think and listen to our own intuition.

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