So this awesome animated dancing gif has been making the rounds, for good reason. First off, it’s bad ass. Second off, it’s hilarious. The more and more I watch it, the more that I think it perfectly encapsulates some important life lessons that go way beyond dancing. Stay with me here!
So what’s one of the worst things that can happen to you as a dancer? Maybe you are at a high stakes dance competition, everyone is watching you, and you fall on your ass. That’s definitely up there in dance nightmares.
A little context: That’s Nadya Klementenok and Alex Parker dancing together during a “Jack and Jill” dance contest in Lithuania in 2013. What “Jack and Jill” means is important for my meaning: that’s a dance contest where you are randomly paired with a dance partner based on the role of a die and compete against other couples similarly paired. So basically it really relies on your ability to think on the fly since you aren’t dancing with your regular partner, and possibly a complete stranger.
Here’s the original video of the contest, including Nadya’s fall and their recovery. The fall happens after their second spotlight at around the 4:15 mark.
So what? Here’s some of my takeaways from watching this clip.
$%^& happens. You trip, make errors, stuff in the universe happens that you have no control over. It’s just unavoidable.
It’s Important to Support your Partner, No Matter What
What does Alex do when Nadya falls? Does he walk away in disgust? Chide her for messing up? No, he falls down with her, and puts up his hands like “What are you gonna do?”
You Get Right Back Up
What makes this bad ass is not that Nadya fell, it’s that she literally jumps right back up and shows that she’s ready to go again. Alex sees this, and gets up and they finish with a couple of bad ass swingouts.
You Laugh About It
Check out Nadya’s big smile as they resume dancing. When you can make fun of the mistake or of yourself, you take away the power of the mistake to ruin your self-confidence.
You Go Big
Does Nadya play it safe after falling, dance more conservatively and carefully? No! Look at Nadya’s leg and arm sweeping motions she does as Alex gets up. She’s basically signalling, “Let’s do this thing!”
So what was the result? They won the damn contest.
So go out there and fall down, people. Then get back up and try again.
[GIF originally posted to Sonnets and Swingouts tumblr.]