Doubts and fears
In her recent episode of her podcast, Yelizaveta mentions that she often feels afraid and in doubt to create a podcast episode. She always wonders if what she will say will be correct… if it is well thought out… if people will accept it etc. I have to admit I understand what she says because most of the posts that I have written, I wondered if it was ok to publish them. I still have texts on my drafts that I doubt about. I am not sure about them. I may want to hide them. But I keep them there.
I am not considering myself an artist of any kind… but certainly a kind of creator with these texts I post here. When I wrote the post about dialogs and fights I was writing about real people, communities and facts that maybe I have gotten wrong. I wasn’t sure to post it because I always thought maybe I am not sensing things right. Maybe I misunderstood circumstances… maybe there is something else I miss. I did discuss my ideas with friends… I sent the draft to them… got back their opinion… but even though all of them were telling me “you are right, go on… Post it”… I still was in doubt. I was also thinking, this might be taken as a defamation of Thessaloniki’s community. Maybe people will be hurt. All those thoughts were running around in my head until I had a discussion that confirmed that it wasn’t only me and my friends… It was a common secret that nobody spoke about. So I posted it.
The pains of creating
Every creation needs to face the world we live in. It’s a new object that needs to get out there and be seen… judged… accepted and rejected. For the creator this creation this new thing coming to life… in the real world… Is like a child. And like any parent we are hurt when it is rejected, ridiculed, mocked etc. It is after all, a reflection of ourselves and we cannot distance ourselves from it. Any bad comment can become personal and can reach our heart. Therefore it is very natural to feel afraid when “giving birth” and presentng it to the world as you would feel afraid if your child gets hurt. It is one of the strongest bonds.
Dancing and even more so Tango as an art form is also a creation process. It might not take so much time as writing a post or a book or a podcast or whatever else… but it still is a creation. An instant creation. Our creation. Our co-creation to be exact. Therefore it is only natural to have the same fear when bringing it to the world. We might be afraid people will not like it… will not accept it… will mock it… or ridicule it. So what do we do in response? We usually hide! We hide behind frameworks, techniques, structures, sequences, steps and so many other things that in the end bring to the world something that is not our reflection. It is not us. It is just a construct that follows some guidelines like an IKEA furniture. But this is not unique… there are so many other replicas of it out there.
Growth and authenticity
The change I noticed in my dancing coincided with many different things. First the Covid break, then the reading of books about orchestras, then some musicality lessons and some more on expression. I thought these were the game changers for me. These were all together that changed me as a dancer. But I now realize that I missed one of the most important events in this period. This blog. The posts that I started on Facebook just for keeping in touch with my friends during the pandemic. In the beginning they were simple… easy to accept… common ground posts and nice stories. As time went by I started daring a bit more. Some more controversial ones came out. In the beginning they were only for my friends. Then I started this blog which is open for everyone to access… and then I started posting them to large FB groups, contacting and bringing them in attention to other creators etc. This whole process made me face the fear of showing myself… my real self… my real thoughts… my real emotions. I stopped hiding and my dance became free of the thought of “How others will see it”… What matters most now is how I feel about it.
And this is what really transformed me. Yes. I stopped hiding behind moves, sequences and structures and felt more at ease with myself… with the fear of being rejected… with the fear of my dance being rejected… of my creations being rejected. But you know what? I wasn’t totally rejected. I wasn’t also totally accepted but even when people disagreed with me it was all with respect for each other. Why? Because people saw that all this was real. It was and is me. My ideas, my thoughts, my emotions, my feelings, my way of expressing them. It was authentic and as much as they might have disagreed with me they couldn’t say it wasn’t real and honest.
A long time ago I wrote this post about Chicho and Fabian Salas saying that we should stop being copies of our teachers and should find our own Tango. I know that now I have probably found my Tango and I am not afraid to show it to my partners. Because after all, my Tango is me. To sum up… If there is any advice to take from all this. This is it. Don’t be afraid… show yourselves… show your strengths and most importantly your weaknesses… stop hiding behind structures, steps and sequences… stop hiding your ideas and opinions in fear of being rejected… find your own Tango… show it to the world… and never be ashamed of it. If it is authentic it will be you. Unless you are a really shitty person it will be accepted (at least by those who will value its authenticity).
If all this doesn’t make sense to you now… don’t worry. Be patient. Keep dancing and at some point I hope it will. If you read the post about finding my Tango 3 years ago you can see I was still wondering myself. I wasn’t sure until just a few days ago. Yelizaveta’s comment about the fears and doubts of creation just made me realize all this. Thanks a lot for that!
Tonight’s Goodnight Tango
Tonight’s Goodnight Tango comes from an orchestra that the Tango elite often snobbed saying that it sounded like music for a merry go round without quality. However, Alfredo de Angelis didn’t give up, didn’t hide, he continued his path because… well I don’t know… but I guess that was his Tango and he couldn’t abandon it! Some accepted him, some not… and even today opinions are divided.
How about you? Are you afraid of being mocked for your dance? Do you care about how it looks? Are you afraid to go beyond what you learned and do things your own way? Are you afraid of creating your own dance or have you passed that fear? Let me know with a comment below, an email, or a PM on Facebook… oh… and if you liked it… don’t forget to share it with your friends.