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Dancing and your Inner Struggles: Part 1 Comparison is the Thief of Joy.

Social dancing isn't merely about mastering choreography or moving rhythmically to music. It's a journey that delves deep into the core of one's being, often triggering inner struggles that can hinder progress. However, by acknowledging and addressing these challenges, dancers can transform the obstacles into stepping stones towards growth and self-discovery that transcend your dance journey. In this 2 part post, I'll look at some of the emotional challenges we face when growing through our dance journey & some tools to help you deal with it.

Self-doubt and Comparison

Learning to dance exposes individuals to a spectrum of talent, from beginners stumbling through steps to seasoned dancers effortlessly gliding across the floor. In this environment, it's natural to experience self-doubt and compare oneself to others. Thoughts like "I'll never be as good as them" or "I'm too clumsy to get this right" can erode confidence and dampen enthusiasm.

  • To overcome self-doubt and comparison, cultivate self-compassion and focus on your personal progress. The sooner you take videos the better! Not only will you get comfortable with how you look, you'll also have a record of your achievements.

  • Rather than fixating on others' abilities, celebrate small victories and milestones in your own journey. Set yourself clear goals and let someone know what they are, for a significant portion of the population, we move on from our successes too quickly and would benefit from a positive accountability partner.

  • Surround yourself with supportive peers who encourage your development. This is vital as your teachers and close friends have a pathway right to your inner world and they can dramatically either build you up or break you down.

Understanding the Valley of Despair

A dance class/practice session is a learning process where we move from the 'Uninformed Optimist' to the 'Successful & Fulfilled'. Unfortunately at some point in this process, we cross the 'Valley of Despair'.



It is only when we become comfortable crossing the valley of despair, that our inner contentment, security and optimism grow.


Make no mistake this is one of the KEY benefits of learning a social dance. So how do we become more comfortable being uncomfortable?

  • Remain mindful that much of the learning process is done while we sleep, so go through the pain, and commit to doing the thing you struggle with little and often. I guarantee the discomfort will be gone in 2 weeks & you will have proof of another success to hold on to when times are tough

  • Reframe your perspective by challenging the inner dialogue and view the struggles you are in as your prepayment for your future successes.


At Mambo Con Son this year, I was putting myself through the mental torture of doing a shine that crossed between on2 and contra tiempo in a room filled with too many students and barely able to see what was going on. Davina turned to me and said 'Embrace the struggle'


I learned 2 things, 1 new thing: even the people you look up to struggle when it is new and one old thing: Trust Davina, Davina is right. Part 2 will be released next week!

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