So as I mentioned in the previous post, there was a spontaneous jam circle at the end of Lennert and W's class yesterday in Herrang. Inspired by the music, I jumped in with one of the follows from our class and did a short sequence — something like a couple of swingouts, a do-si-do, and a swing out to a slide to get out of the circle. It was easy and fun. Afterwards some other people jumped in, including some instructors and other more advanced dancers, including Max, Peter Strom, Mia, and Frida Bourg.
The next time there was a break in the jam, I tried to grab one of the follows from my class to jump in again, but she resisted.
"Let's go in. This is awesome," I said.
"No, there are too many teachers in the room now."
"Come on, this is just a class. It's no big deal."
"No, I can't. I can't," she pleaded.
I asked four other follows from my advanced class and all of them refused with similar reasons.
I talked later with the first woman about it. She is normally a showboat of a dancer, very flamboyant and energetic. She has been dancing for most of her life and does aerials with her partner. And yet she said that the improvisational nature of a dance jam really intimidated her. "What if I mess up?" she asked. "In front of all those great dancers!"
"I guess the entire world would end," I answered.
I can totally see where she is coming from. It can be scary being in a jam, particularly if there are other "rockstar" dancers in the jam. Maybe you don't think you have the flashiest move to show off, or the most bad ass trick. But mostly it's about confronting your inner critic and telling him to shut the eff up.
I'm proud of myself that I jumped on the moment last night, and for once didn't let the critic keep me out of the jam. Small victories, but victories nonetheless.