Every first draft is perfect because all the first draft has to do is exist. It’s perfect in its existence. The only way it could be imperfect would be to NOT exist. ─ Jane Smiley
A friend of mine likes to say, “First drafts are always yucky”. Of course, he uses a word other than yucky, but I’m trying to keep my language a little more PG rated these days (or maybe just this hour...minute...whatever). His point though is that when starting a project it’s not so important what you write, only that you write it. I feel the same way about dancing.
I don’t often post videos of my dancing. I loathe watching myself. When I do the inner demons pull up their Barcaloungers and popcorn and whisper in my ear - “You’re too old”, “you look like a giant stork”, “You’re not a pro, you’ll never be, why bother, you just look foolish” , “look at you, your toes don’t point, your turnout’s bad, you’re just flailing about”.
I was not born dancing, I did not start when I was three, I started only about three years ago. I took a dance class here and there growing up, but I was never good at it so I put my energy into the places I was - singing and acting. When I look at where I was when I started and where I am now, there is vast improvement. I am still in my first draft dancewise. I’m not where I was, but I’m not where I’m going to be either.
So, if I distract the inner demons with something shiny to shut them up and watch this video again this is what I see...
*A woman who is using decades of training in acting and music to add to what she’s learned about dance to give a performance that appears confident and assured. There is no stumbling around wondering what comes next, she is moving from moment to moment with certainty (except when she’s supposed to appear uncertain....again....acting chops)
*A woman who has worked hard to learn a new skill. Someone who has invested in herself and understands that to get to the good stuff sometimes you have to risk looking foolish.
*A woman with determination, unwilling to let the opinions of other people stop her.
*A woman who battles her demons and fears every time she walks into the dance studio, but stubbornly refuses to allow them to rule her.
* A woman who keeps trying daily to perfect herself on her own terms.
And so I post my dance video. This is my first draft. Better than some, not as good as others, but entirely mine.