“Hi Jen, do you ever not like a performance you’ve danced before? How do you recover from it without beating yourself up for it”?

I received this question from an Orlando Belly Dancer on Facebook the other day, and it really got me thinking. Many of us go through our videos with a very critical eye, and not all performances are created equal. There are times when I LOVE a performance of mine and there are times when I absolutely hate segments of a performance I have done. I am guilty of wanting to be a improv perfectionist which is one whole can of worms I won’t even go into lol!

In the times when we examine ourselves dancing on video and find things that we are not so happy with our performance, it can be easy to beat ourselves down to the point of utter sadness. But although we are not 100% happy with a performance that does not mean that there is nothing good to recognize with each one. When a dancer is able to truthfully critique herself and diagnose her strengths and weaknesses that is a major plus! It becomes a way to gauge and measure how you are advancing every year and what is still left to refine and polish. It means you are diligently trying to improve yourself.

Just because we do not like a performance does not mean we are a bad dancer, it just means we are human, and there is room for improvement. Every great artist will strive to be their best, and some times we have good days, and other times not-so-perfect days and that is o.k.

I am not perfect, and do not 100% love every video I put out there. Heck there are some I don’t put on Youtube at all, and a couple not so great ones from the earlier days that I publish as a reminder of how far I have come. As dancers we need to learn to take constructive criticism, to take our faults and focus on making them better, and to continue training and patting ourselves on the back for being brave enough every time we step on that stage to put our souls out there for the world to see.

So how do I recover from a not so perfect performance, easy, I jot down what I need to fix, I tell myself I will do better, I train harder, and I try to tweak and make changes that will lead to the better. This dance takes a lifetime to “perfect” in my eyes and as long as one has a good attitude and realizes that, then striving to do better will make you stronger and stronger as the years progress.

We cannot fix our “problem habits” over night, so realizing that as well is huge. It takes so much time, and work to fix dance habits and putting yourself down to a terrible point will not help. One can be angry or disappointed for a little yes (we are human), but better to then direct that energy and work on a plan on how to change it, than continue wallowing in past.

So I guess my answer in a nutshell is Yes, I do not like every performance I put out there, I am highly critical of my dance. I recover by watching the video over and over and jot down what needs to be fixed and then develop an action plan on how to fix it. I hope that helps my fellow dancers, and would love to hear how you recover from not so perfect performances. If you want to learn more about my academy style belly dance class program and how this Orlando Belly Dancer does a critique then contact me.