Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Chorus Girls, State Library of New South Wales
You don't know it, but every dancer out there has it. Anyone can catch it, no matter how long you've been dancing. And once you have it, it's difficult to get rid of. What is it?


Comparitis is comparing yourself to any other dancer. It doesn't matter if she's younger than you, been dancing longer than you, or does a completely different style then you, you'll ultimately end up comparing yourself to another dancer at more than one point in your dance career. You'll see her on the stage or in a video, and think, "Why bother? I'll never be as good as her."

I nearly caught Comparitis last week. I've been practicing with Rachel Brice's new online studio, Datura Online (check it out--classes for every dancer!), and as I tried and failed at the combination that Rachel (of course) made look like a child could do, I started to get that feeling again. For me, it starts as a sweaty, panicky feeling. Then the worry starts in the back of my mind: "What if I'm not good enough? What if I never get this?"

Luckily, Rachel had already taken to Twitter to help other dancers beat Comparitis. After someone mentioned difficulty learning a combo from one of Datura's new videos, Rachel replied that it had taken her days to memorize and learn the combo, even though she was the one who created it!

When you find yourself coming down with Comparitis, take the following remedies to hold it off--maybe even make you immune forever!

1. Remember that every dancer, including the one you are comparing yourself to, started out somewhere.
2. Every dancer is unique, especially you. You have different bodies, different background, may have done different types of dancing, had different teachers--the list goes on. No dancer takes the exact same path as you.
3. Realize that the dancer you're comparing yourself not only had to come up with what she's doing, but she had to practice it, drill it, do it until she could do it in her sleep. You're seeing the end result of months and years of hard work.
4. You're comparing your insides to someone else's outsides. The dancer you're comparing yourself to has probably looked at another dancer and said the same thing: "I'll never be as good as her."
5. Keep practicing!

After working with the new Rachel combo for 30 minutes, I was confident enough with it to think about adding it to a performance I'm doing next month. But first, I'll have to practice it a couple times!

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