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  1. #1
    Registered User clarabella's Avatar
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    Is this being star struck???

    Am I star struck???

    I am interested to know if anyone else has/had the same issues as me…

    Blaze II, I'd not been dancing for very long, still nervous about dancing in general but very nervous with the experienced dancers and teachers.

    Blaze III, been dancing a little longer and STILL can’t dance with the profs. I managed to relax and dance quite well at Blaze then along came this chap that I had noticed dancing before, obviously a very experienced dancer, and whack…. I couldn’t spin, didn’t listen to his lead very well, couldn’t have eye contact and generally felt like a complete twit!!! After cowering off after my dance and wanting the ground to swallow me up, I lost all confidence to dance with anyone other than my usual buddies.

    What is going on, I ask? This is ridiculous, I have given myself a right talking to but nothing works!! Why do I turn into a wobble board??

    Someone please tell me I am not alone….

    xx

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    Re: Is this being star struck???

    I have been jiving for decades and still get the "not good enough" feeling with real dancers. Sadly it makes me dance worse when dancing with them.

    Even more sadly I am aware that ever so occasionally a newbie partner is suffering the same confidence crunching self-deprecation when dancing with me, and I cannot always get them to relax.

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    Re: Is this being star struck???

    or could it be "love struck"?

    Certainly takes the edge off my dancing. I become a blunt brick.

    Clara,
    I'm only just past Improver, but I'd love to dance with you. I expect both of us to enjoy and part of that is the accumulation of all the little successes we will have together.
    Don't be embarrassed, nor self conscious, get out there and enjoy.
    BTW,
    I'm up for the Blues classes & parties. see ya.
    Last edited by dep; 17th-May-2008 at 09:53 AM.

  4. #4
    Registered User clarabella's Avatar
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    Re: Is this being star struck???

    Quote Originally Posted by dep View Post
    or could it be "love struck"?

    Certainly takes the edge off my dancing. I become a blunt brick.
    "Love Struck" Mmmm. would mean i fall in love very easy and with an awful lot of people! Lol x
    Last edited by ducasi; 18th-May-2008 at 10:38 AM. Reason: fixed quote

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    Lovely Moderator ducasi's Avatar
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    Re: Is this being star struck???

    Quote Originally Posted by clarabella View Post
    Someone please tell me I am not alone….
    You are not alone.
    Let your mind go and your body will follow. – Steve Martin, LA Story

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    Registered User Easily Led's Avatar
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    Re: Is this being star struck???

    I have been dancing about 2 and a half years and I still find it really difficult to relax with some people, mainly really good dancers unfortunately. It makes it more difficult for me to do anything creative and I feel more clumsy. For instance, I was dancing with a really well known teacher just recently and thought it was going pretty well for a change; that is until I struck him in the face with my elbow !

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    Re: Is this being star struck???

    Quote Originally Posted by Easily Led View Post
    I was dancing with a really well known teacher just recently and thought it was going pretty well for a change; that is until I struck him in the face with my elbow !
    no,
    struck is the inside of the hand done deliberately.
    Bashed him about the head sounds more like what you did.
    But it's the leader's fault, he should give you space to complete the move he led you into. It's his responsibility to plan the move and the location of the protagonists.
    Now, if I bang the head of my Follower, then it is completely my fault. I apologise and hope she will forgive and dance with me the next time I ask.

  8. #8
    purplehyacinth
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    Re: Is this being star struck???

    Clarabella

    First of all - you are not alone. We have ALL been there

    As far as "star struck" is concerned, there could be any number of reasons for what you describe. The following are just a few examples, and I'm sure that either you can think of others, or other people will chip in with more:

    - If you perceived this lead as very "good", you may have felt nervous and intimidated about asking them, and in consequence, nerves may have inhibited your usual following skills, and once you fluffed one thing, you started mentally kicking yourself, with the result that your mind was more on your initial mistake than on the dance, resulting in further mess-ups.

    - or it may be that at the time you asked this lead to dance, you were more tired than you actually realised that you were, and tiredness meant that you weren't following or feeling the connection as well as usual.

    - equally, the lead might have been more tired than he realised that he was at the time, with the result that he wasn't leading, or feeling the connection, as well as usual

    - or it may simply be that when you saw the lead dancing before asking him, he was dancing with people he had danced with a number of times before, and he was familiar with the connection he has with them, and it may be simply that the connection between him and you is one that takes more time than simply once dance to develop.
    From my own experience, I know there are some leads that it has taken a number of dances over a few weeks for the connection to establish and settle down, and for us to dance comfortably together. On the other hand there are leads where within about 2 seconds you connect and are dancing well together immediately.

    If it helps, think of the dance as being like having a conversation: there are some people you can meet, and almost instantly you "click" and are chatting away, nineteen to the dozen, as if you have known each other years; other people, it takes a bit of time to get to know them, and for you to feel comfortable enough together to talk to each other on subjects other than the weather!

    From my own experience, it can be quite intimidating asking good people (and teachers) to dance: I know that I sometimes ask such people virtually in fear and trepidation as I am conscious of how good they are (and by contrast how good I am NOT), and when I am nervous because of that, I am more likely to fluff things, miss leads, go the wrong way and generally dance with the grace and style of a Thunderbirds puppet. Sometimes when that happens I just want to find a small corner to hide in at the end of the dance, as I feel so embarassed that I've given the lead such a lousy dance.
    One thing I find works with me - is, particularly in fast dances - if the lead multiple-turns me, so that I am having to rely on the connection for guidance in the turn (plus if you are turning numerous times at speed, you can't think of much else BUT the turn, maintaining balance etc, and that tends to drive out all other negative thoughts), it helps build the connection and trust between the lead and me, and I am more likely to have a better-connected dance (I say more likely, because, like all things in dance, it doesn't work 100%).

    The first thing I would say is PLEASE stop beating yourself over your head with this: the more you think that you are dancing like a wobble board, and the more you worry that you are going to be dancing like a wobble board, then the more likely you are to dance like a wobble board. It's easier said than done, but relax, put it behind you and move on. Dance a few dances with people you feel comfortable with till you get your confidence back. Or even stick a couple of cds on and shimmy/dance around your living room (or kitchen, or wherever in your house has space) on your own, and if singing along to the music helps you relax, sing too, until you feel more relaxed and have got your dancing joie-de-vivre back.

    Also, remember - you're going dancing, not sitting an exam! If you have asked a lead whom you think dances impressively to dance, don't feel that you have to impress him! Both of you are there to have a dance and to enjoy yourselves: it's not your driving test! Remember, people don't ask people to dance just to try and impress them, or because they necessarily think that the person they are asking (or has asked them) is going to be the most fab dancer in the world: if that were the case, newbies who haven't yet learnt to lead or follow properly would never get a dance except with other newbies! People ask people to dance.... well,... to dance - not to impress their partner. Experienced dancers dance with newbies - and non-newbies - because they want to dance with them, and because they want to help them enjoy the dance experience.

    Equally, for some people (and I've said this above), it can take a few dances together for a proper connection to develop - so don't worry if you don't develop a fabulous connection in your first dance together.

    Finally - I doubt if there is a single person on this forum who has not had at least a dance, dances, or even entire evening(s) where they have felt that they have danced like a complete muppet. (If I am wrong on this, I would like to meet the person in question as he/she is exceptional and/or incredibly blessed). This includes the lead you danced with. For all you know, at BlazeIII he may well have gone away from the dance he had with you, mentally smacking himself on the forehead and berating himself for not having led you well/connected with you well, or given you as good a dance as he would have liked.

    So in summary

    Try to put it behind you and relax
    We've all been there and will all be there again
    DON'T give up and DO keep dancing

    And finally - if you find the above waffle unhelpful - ignore it.
    Last edited by purplehyacinth; 17th-May-2008 at 01:36 PM. Reason: typo

  9. #9
    Registered User Lynn's Avatar
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    Re: Is this being star struck???

    Quote Originally Posted by purpleheather View Post
    First of all - you are not alone. We have ALL been there


    Quote Originally Posted by purpleheather View Post
    - If you perceived this lead as very "good", you may have felt nervous and intimidated about asking them, and in consequence, nerves may have inhibited your usual following skills, and once you fluffed one thing, you started mentally kicking yourself, with the result that your mind was more on your initial mistake than on the dance, resulting in further mess-ups.
    This is exactly what happens with me! I'm usually trying too hard and should just relax.

    Quote Originally Posted by purpleheather View Post
    ~snip other stuff~
    I would also add that some leads who look very 'good' and who dance mostly with other very 'good' followers aren't always that good at leading! Sometimes, probably due to limiting who they dance with, they are used to the women they regularly dance with just doing what is expected and they don't give clear leads/can't establish good connection with an unknown follower etc. I usually tend to blame myself for not following properly, but then sometimes I hear several other experienced followers say 'yes, he looks great but is actually rather hard to follow' and I know its not just me!

    But mostly it is me, mucking up 'cos I'm worried I'm going to make mistakes...

    The bit I hate about the whole 'having a dance with a really good person and making a mess of it' is that this is the only experience they have of my dancing, and will think I dance like that all the time and maybe never ask me again!

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    Re: Is this being star struck???

    Quote Originally Posted by purpleheather View Post
    From my own experience, it can be quite intimidating asking good people (and teachers) to dance: I know that I sometimes ask such people virtually in fear and trepidation as I am conscious of how good they are (and by contrast how good I am NOT), and when I am nervous because of that, I am more likely to fluff things, miss leads, go the wrong way and generally dance with the grace and style of a Thunderbirds puppet.
    You mean like this?
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhythm King View Post
    is totally F.A.B. !
    Dan

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    Ceroc N.I. Franchise Owner drathzel's Avatar
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    Re: Is this being star struck???

    Clarabella, you are sooo not alone.

    I taught at Blaze I,II and III and i teach regularly in Northern Ireland (3 times a week) and i still get the "wobble board" nerves when dancing with a fab dancer ( not necessarily a teacher). Its not restricted to what level you think you dance at but you own confidence.

    I always tell "good" dancers to be gentle with me and if i mess up well, i mess up and do exactly what you do and go in search of a good friend.

    At Storm i had a dance with a guy and walked away feeling utterly useless and it really made me feel pants, then a very good friend pointed me in the direction of a few guys who she knew, that i didnt, that i would have a very lovely dance with to restore my confidence. It worked.

    My advise when asking someone that scares you, take a wingman, they can then tell you if you really looked pants or just felt it, then they can give you a hug and make you feel better

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    Re: Is this being star struck???

    Quote Originally Posted by drathzel View Post
    My advise when asking someone that scares you, take a wingman,
    Clara,
    can I be your "wingman" on Friday?

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    Re: Is this being star struck???

    You are so not alone!

    I have a vivid memory of my first ever party.

    I noticed a guy whom everyone was queueing up to dance with. I got a shock when he actually came over to me and took me onto the floor.

    I felt totally out of my league but tried my best (I had only been dancing a month or so). If he hadn't come over I probably would have stuck with my class mates, and not dared to approach the better dancers.
    As soon as the Blues room opened I hid in there and watched in awe as the best dancers blended into the music.

    I suddenly saw the dancer who had asked me, and before I lost my nerve I asked him for a dance. I was as scared as Hell, but I am so glad I did.

    I hadn't a clue who it was, all I knew was that they were superb.

    Who was it??

    Franck

    So leaders, when you groan when I come asking for a dance, now you know who to blame for me being a bit more extrovert

    The lesson learnt is this:

    Dancing with better dancers may be scary, but boy is it rewarding.

    Cheers Whitetiger
    Last edited by whitetiger1518; 26th-May-2008 at 11:08 AM.

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    Re: Is this being star struck???

    I definitely have the same feeling with certain people. I try to just admit that some stress is understandable, not to let it frighten me, and to be OK with the fact that I may not dance as well as I do under easier conditions.

    So I admit to myself that I think I'm taking an exam, and I use it to motivate myself and measure my progress - if I can deliver something with a person who makes me nervy, I know I've mastered that thing and I chalk that up as a win.

    And the last step is to think about the rewards; I think that I have been very lucky to dance with that person, and to experience the musicality, the possibilities, and whatnot that I don't experience with most people. I can learn a lot even if I dance badly.

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    Re: Is this being star struck???

    Clara,

    You're a really lovely dancer, with a really nice connection, but far too hard on yourself! I always enjoy dancing with you, and missed you the last few months. Don't worry - there are some people who I really want to ask to dance, and then when I do, it just doesn't gel - doesn't mean (hopefully) that I'm a bad dancer, just that nerves have gotten the best of me, or that we're not well matched, like Purpleheather says.

    Looking forward to more blues next weekend, even though you can't make saturday (boohoo - you need to talk to your boss about that one....)

    x

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    Registered User clarabella's Avatar
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    Re: Is this being star struck???

    Quote Originally Posted by blackisleboy View Post
    Clara,

    You're a really lovely dancer, with a really nice connection, but far too hard on yourself! I always enjoy dancing with you, and missed you the last few months. Don't worry - there are some people who I really want to ask to dance, and then when I do, it just doesn't gel - doesn't mean (hopefully) that I'm a bad dancer, just that nerves have gotten the best of me, or that we're not well matched, like Purpleheather says.

    Looking forward to more blues next weekend, even though you can't make saturday (boohoo - you need to talk to your boss about that one....)

    x

    Aw thank you…

    I really enjoyed our dance at Blaze, have no idea what happened to me there but for some reason I didn’t think about my dancing at all, just went with the flow and had some fun! Shame that attitude didn’t stay for long eh! Lol

    Will try to get to as many weekenders/workshops as I can, maybe dancing more with different people will stop the stage fright!!

    See ya’ Friday

    xx

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    Re: Is this being star struck???

    Quote Originally Posted by blackisleboy View Post
    ........ next weekend, even though you can't make saturday (boohoo - you need to talk to your boss about that one....)

    x
    we need to talk to the boss. Can "we" roll our sleeves up or do you only trust me to hold the jackets?

    Clara,
    what were you doing last night?
    Posting @ 0255gmt seems weird.
    Had the man just fallen asleeep?

  18. #18
    Registered User clarabella's Avatar
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    Re: Is this being star struck???

    Quote Originally Posted by dep
    Clara,
    what were you doing last night?
    Posting @ 0255gmt seems weird.
    Had the man just fallen asleeep?
    Yes... sad as it looks i am on night shift with no work to do!!! xx
    Last edited by ducasi; 18th-May-2008 at 08:34 PM. Reason: more quote fixing!

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    Re: Is this being star struck???

    Quote Originally Posted by mshedgehog View Post
    I definitely have the same feeling with certain people. I try to just admit that some stress is understandable, not to let it frighten me, and to be OK with the fact that I may not dance as well as I do under easier conditions.

    So I admit to myself that I think I'm taking an exam, and I use it to motivate myself and measure my progress - if I can deliver something with a person who makes me nervy, I know I've mastered that thing and I chalk that up as a win.

    And the last step is to think about the rewards; I think that I have been very lucky to dance with that person, and to experience the musicality, the possibilities, and whatnot that I don't experience with most people. I can learn a lot even if I dance badly.
    I used to positively love the adrenalin-fuelled challenge of asking people who I thought were out of my league, partly to learn and partly to measure my own progress. However, I've pretty much given up on scaring myself now.


    Quote Originally Posted by White Tiger
    Dancing with better dancers may be scary, but boy is it rewarding.
    If you never push yourself to dance with better dancers then you won't experience the example of high quality dancing, therefore may be slower to make progress.

    About the feeling that you've messed up - a really high-class leader will be so smooth, precise & considerate he will make it all seem easy for you and for three minutes you will believe you are the most brilliant dancer in the world. So, if that is not what you've experienced, maybe he wasn't quite as good as you thought, therefore you don't have to bother feeling intimidated by him next time!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lulu Baby
    I dance often with experienced dancers, however, teachers are a different story...
    Many teachers are utterly brilliant and thoroughly deserve their awesome reputations - as you have found.
    However, there are plenty of people who teach dance who I would class as very able, but by no means in the brilliant category. But I'd expect all teachers to be willing to give a nervous novice a gentle and sympathetic dance.

  20. #20
    Registered User Lynn's Avatar
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    Re: Is this being star struck???

    Quote Originally Posted by jivecat View Post
    About the feeling that you've messed up - a really high-class leader will be so smooth, precise & considerate he will make it all seem easy for you and for three minutes you will believe you are the most brilliant dancer in the world. So, if that is not what you've experienced, maybe he wasn't quite as good as you thought, therefore you don't have to bother feeling intimidated by him next time!
    A really good lead will not only give you a good dance, they will give you confidence.

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