executive director of everybody Dance Now!

Sharing my journey. living out my passion. Persisting through struggles.

Hoping to serve as inspiration for others TO Follow where their hearts lead. 

Winning isn't everything and sometimes it should be the last thing

"To win," he said without much hesitation. "That is how I know I'm getting better."

I saw my former self in him. Only a few years prior I thought the same thing. I built my reputation in the streetdance community through competitions. I would trek from Boston to New York to attend as many battles as I could. I had to prove myself to the world. Victory was evidence of my merit. It was my motivation behind the hours of training. I need to know that as I stood across from my opponent, I had a shot at beating him.

Over the last decade, I came away with as many victories as defeats. The former giving me a rush of excitement and the latter, a sense of failure. Despite the respect I received even in my losses, I couldn't shake off the disappointment. Soon winning was the only thing that mattered - not the camaraderie among dancers, the music, or the vibe. I had to win.

So in speaking to this dancer. I knew exactly how he felt.

Today, things are different. I had to change. The dance that used to bring me joy had begun to leave me empty. If I won an event, I was quickly thinking about the next one.If I lost, I questioned whether or not I was good enough - whether all the hard work was useless. Either way, I wasn't having fun anymore. So I took a break from the competition scene to re-evaluate my heart and search for that passion I once had.

I didn't compete for a year and went back to the basics: searching for music I loved - not music I thought would be played in a competition; training in styles that interested me - not those that looked impressive. And the strangest thing happened. I was happy. In a room by myself, in a cypher, in a session. It didn't matter, I had rekindled my love for the movement itself.

I've battled since that time but not for the same reasons. Now competitions are freeing. They are a chance to have fun in front of other people. I might lose or win, but that's not the deciding factor. The only thing that concerns me is dancing honestly. Any feedback I might get from the judges or audience is simply an added bonus or insights for areas to improve.

I'm not sure what advice I should give him though. I don't know how to shake the need to win. Maybe it's something that comes with time, frustration, or both. I'm only hoping that he finds his peace before I did.

 

What am I reading? How not to give a f*ck

Art through tragedy