Nice surprises

I wanted to mention, after that silly post, something that I think is really important: We can’t ever forget about the difference between appearance and reality. In other words, don’t judge a book by its cover.

We all have experienced a dance with someone who, from the outside, looked anywhere from decent to amazing—and ended up being terrible. The leader who ended up dragging us around or pushing on our head, or the follower who leaned too much or was out of control. There are too many possibilities to mention.

What we forget, I think, is that it can happen the other way around: A dancer who looks a bit off but feels wonderful. I danced with an awkward beginner once, and I more or less wrote him off. It didn’t look like he was getting any better. Then, several months later, I danced with him again. Wow! He didn’t look much different, but he had great musicality. His confidence about the music made a world of difference. (And he may still need to work on his posture, but teaching that can be so much easier than teaching someone with good posture to feel the music!)

It also reminds me of the issue of writing off (or seeking out) dancers because of who else they dance with. That partner may not look great to you, but they just might have amazing musicality. Or a smooth walk. Or a warm embrace. That awkward leader may have a lot of potential; or he might have danced with that follower when all she had was potential. Why judge? Make choices based on how it feels for you to dance with that person. And remember that how it feels can change over time, for better or worse!

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