This last month reminded me of the fact that growing and learning will always have their moments of forward progress, stagnation, and setbacks.
My dance partner and I traveled down to Buenos Aires for a combination of travel and intense Argentine tango development and dancing. We took lessons with my dance instructors (teachers note: no matter how good you are, there is always room for improvement). These lessons were chock-a-block with details that I needed reminding of as well as newer points of view on topics that we’ve worked on previously.
Over the course of the trip, I found myself hitting a nadir in my confidence as a dancer. The corrections and new material that I was given were not settling into my body, my arms and back were full of tension that I don’t normally carry, and I felt as if I was not helping my dance partner work on her new material at all.
As frustrating as that drop in confidence was, I knew it to be a part of my growth process. I was working on new ideas and techniques that needed time to be engrained into my brain and my muscle memory. The difficulty for me was in knowing that I had a finite amount of time in Buenos Aires and I wanted to make sure that I took full advantage of it. I had to accept the process and welcome the frustration with the knowledge that there will come a point when what I’m working on will “click.”
Eventually it did just that. I would have preferred that the upswing happened sooner than my last night in BsAs, but processes like these cannot be forced.
The dance floor and life can be very reflective of each other. Growing and learning are referred to as “processes” for a reason. There will be other undulations in my progress as a person and as a dancer, some greater or easier that the last month. I’ve gone through them before and will go through them again. It’s the same for everyone to some degree or another.
Facing the challenges these processes present with confidence and patience will enable us to grow from them.