General Dance Discussion > Overcoming Fears

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by pygmalion, Dec 24, 2003.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    For me, one of the most important dance issues I face is that of overcoming fears, particularly since I started dancing as an adult. Fear of falling, fear of looking stupid, fear of messing up, fear of DIPS! :shock: :lol: And the list goes on. Yet, without overcoming these fears, I can't learn to dance, so I'm working on them. Can anyone share advice, stories, or personal observations about the fears you're working to overcome?
  2. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I can't believe nobody replied to this one. Hmm. A busy holiday weekend I guess.

    Anyway, I had a lesson yesterday and this topic came up. Big time. My teacher allowed me to bring my own music, and do whatever dancing I wanted -- no formal instruction plan. Silliness allowed. Freestyle allowed. And guess what happened? I FROZE. I was terrified. I thought I had made so much progress, but without that connection to him, I FROZE. Totally demoralizing. I have further to go that I'd thought. :x :cry: :lol:
  3. vey

    vey New Member

    Dear Pymalion, I can totally identify with this, in fact I was trying to describe a similar situation in "World Salsa Federation Controversy" topic couple of days ago and Boriken and others had some great insights.

    I think that a problem here can be two-fold:
    1. People like me , who don't have enough experience can work on getting more relaxed in front of the others and figure things out and get better,
    2. People with more experience who already had success with these situations just can have one of those days... - it's like sometimes you feel like having a deep sole-bareing conversation but other times you just don't feel like discussing anything more serious than the weather.

    Well, I don't know whether I make any sense here.... but I've tried :)
  4. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I hope you're right, vey. Maybe it was just one of those days where I wanted to be more private. The thing is, I've been studying with this guy for over a year, and I genuinely like and trust him. If I can't dance uninhibitedly with him, then who can I dance with?

    I guess I should stop being so hard on myself. At least, that's what I'd advise someone else in this position. It's just different when it's me. I have no patience with myself. :x :cry:

    And fears are hard to overcome.
  5. danceguy

    danceguy New Member

    Fears - oh boy, I have many Pygmalion... :oops:

    I touched upon my problem areas in the thread about shyness, since that's the #1 fear for me right now - asking women to dance! I'm getting better about it...but it is my single biggest issue that I'm dealing with. To overcome it...well going to more dances, meeting new people and asking more women to dance. I'm mainly working to become a better dancer so my confidence improves...but to get better I need to ask more women to dance so its quite a vicious circle if I let it get the better of me. The only solution I have is to go to more dances! I've been going once a week, and I hope to start going 2-3 times a week. :)

    If there a lot of ladies at a particular venue, I always ask them to dance without much hesitation. When there are more men, or the numbers are small and mainly couples...I tend to freeze up and sit down a lot. I wish I was more like Sagitta and the others who are a lot more outgoing than I am...perhaps one day I will be. :shock:

    My other main fear is accidently touching women while dancing...I'm certainly not a groper and very respectful of people...but this is something I worry about doing while dancing. For instance, once during an ECS I set up my partner for a caress, and I didn't realize the way I had grasped her hand at the end, she ended up caressing my rear which I had NOT intended to happen!!! She had a strange look on her face for a moment but didn't seem offended...but I really turned red over that one. :oops:

    Who's next? Come on, fess up everyone. :)


  6. vey

    vey New Member

    Ok, here is one: in order to test our little theory may be you have to try it again. :D

    Also, do you think it'll help if you discuss/mention your concerns to this instructor? Even if he won't give you a helpful advice, just making him aware of your concerns might relax you.

    :) And, you've said it :
  7. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Actually, I emailed him last night, and he said very nice and reassuring things. I guess he's seen this before. I AM going to try it again. Just not next week. I'm not ready yet. :x :wink: :lol: Gotta laugh at myself. It's so ridiculous. There are people in the world risking their lives, and I'm afraid to DANCE? What a hoot. :lol:
  8. KevinL

    KevinL New Member

    I haven't felt this in a while but a couple of years ago I learned that the worst thing I could ever do at a dance was to sit down and watch. My confidence would drain away, and it would be very difficult to ask women to dance. Salespeople will tell you that it usually takes 7 "calls" to make a sale, so I would ask every woman to dance. If someone said "no", the next one would generally say yes, i just didn't let the rejection bother me.

    Now sitting down doesn't drain my confidence, so it's ok to sit down once in a while. However, I still don't like sitting down, so now I'll even ask guys to dance. It bothers me when they say "no", but I'm not afraid of it.

    You shouldn't be afraid of accidently touching a woman inappropriately. It absolutely will happen eventually, it is one of the "dangers" of social dancing. However, most women can tell the difference between an accident and purposeful groping. You are aware of your concern and try to avoid inappropriate touching, and that is the best you can do. If you do accidently touch someone, apologize. They will likely forgive you, if they even noticed.

    I don't think I have any fears regarding dancing. Sure, it would be nice to be able to dance as well as the competitors, but I'm not focused there, so I'm not going to worry about it.

    I used to be "afraid" of messing up in front of class, but it happens so often that it doesn't bother me anymore. "I'm sorry, I meant Leaders not Followers." "I'm sorry, I meant left foot, not right foot. Switching sides is harder than it looks."

    Other fear? Well, I'm vaguely afraid of hurting myself and not being able to dance, but there's nothing I can do about that. If I was so afraid of getting hurt that I couldn't dance, what would be the point of knowing how to dance?


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