- April 14th, 2014
This post is more about my thought process then that one moment, so if this is too long for you, please just skip the post entirely and don't read it. Or read only the last part "on my experience".
I decided to share my defining experience from UK championships openly for a few reasons, risking people just thinking it's about boasting. I'm okay with that, though.
On fame -
Those of you who for a time decided to run the conference circuit know what it's like to be a pro in your field at a public event.
Even back in 2007 I couldn't literally walk one meter at the defcon hotel without being stopped by yet another person looking to talk to me. At one point it became so ridiculous I walked a mile around the Vegas hotel to get to eat lunch at the food court. I may have been an abrasive Israeli who did not know how to talk to people from abroad, but I wasn't an a-hole.
Sometimes it would be friends. Other times it would be someone looking to exchange a few words with the guy who just spoke on stage or who ran some project or op he likes, at yet other times it was somebody with a question. Sometimes it was simply because I kept myself very approachable.
I pride myself on nearly always making the time. I am no different then anyone who approached me, I just took the time to prepare a talk... or three (and boy am I a loud one!)
On fame in Dance -
That is why while I like the pros in Dance who are approachable and who stay up to dance with us all night more then others, I still hold deep respect for those who don't.
"The pro isn't your bitch," they work hard all day long and need some time to rest (and party). There is a limit to how much social energy any person, professional or not, can bring into play - even if that is their job.
So, while it takes a bit more to get me to be star struck, sometimes it happens to me as well. Starting dance later in life (I'm not that old, but y'know) is a humbling yet exhilarating experience, even more then just struggling with something new.
You learn about yourself, the world around you, and how they connect. You get better, you struggle, and you have immense amounts of fun. And you see these pros at the top, some of whom are nice, some of whom aren't. They're people just like you, and they inspire you nonetheless.
I am highly committed to dance, I am also highly addicted to dance. The experience, the adrenaline, and the constant learning.
That does not change the fact that just a few minutes with one of these pros made me far more then committed, they made me join the religion of dance for life.
On my experience -
I don't compete. I used to, but very soon found out my main interests are social dance and getting better. Competition didn't do it for me. And yet, sometimes, when a nice girl asks me to be her partner, we do it for fun.
As a friend defined it, while I don't care about not winning (first rule of winning is wanting to win), I do mind it. So, after a competition I tend to be contemplative and quiet for a day or two.
Maybe I am making a big deal out of nothing, but the following morning one of the very top pros in my dance left his workshop for 5 seconds in the middle of a group exercise to catch me. He reached out to me to say he really liked my dancing, and would like to spend 10 minutes with me to give me some feedback, free of charge.
There is nothing harder then getting feedback when you don't compete. The offered 10 minutes aside, his willingness, his reaching out to me, was what made all the difference. It made me a disciple of this dance for life, rather then just the next 5-10 years.
You may decide I'm over playing this, and it may not sound like much, but for me - it was a defining moment.
It may have just been a small kindness, but it is my *choice* to make it a defining moment. Defining moments, much like luck, are made - not fallen into.
Thanks for reading (if you made it this far). I'll see you at the next dance event, a beginner dancer, but now - on a mission. I'm starting to compete.
Thank you Robert Royston and Nicola Royston.