My Misstep Didn't Miss A Step; Curve Balls with Andrea Nent
I have had many, MANY, missed steps over the years, but today let’s just focus on one.
It was my second solo ever, and my first time competing with a lyrical solo. I had done a jazz solo the previous year and been very successful, inspiring me to try a lyrical solo. I practiced almost daily, and finally competition day arrived. I put on that purple costume and winged my eyeliner; I was ready for my spotlight. Warm up went great, and I was nervous, but beyond excited to show the audience all my hard work.
I stepped onto the stage and started my routine, then suddenly I had forgotten. I had maybe a second of hesitation, then my body began to just keep moving. I dropped very slowly into a split, staring into the wings, where my teacher gave me the “keep going” look. I managed to improvise some floor work and get back on track with my routine. I exited the stage, and my teacher said, “congratulations, you kept going”. You kept going.
That is what I learnt from this missed step. Mistakes will be made, steps will be missed, routines will be forgotten. What matters is our recovery, what did you do next, what did you learn. I learnt that no matter what your rehearsal process is, stage is still a live experience. Curve balls will endlessly come your way and as a dancer we must learn to adapt, find growth in our mistakes. In fact, some of the best learning experiences come from a missed step, they are an essential part of the process, challenging us to take these mistakes in stride and grow.
I encourage all my students to never fear making mistakes. But just remember you have to keep going, and you will come out stronger. Dance whole heartedly and when the missed step comes, wear it with a smile.