Dance criticism can show up in many ways:
How do those experiences make you feel?
Are you someone who experiences dance criticism frequently?
Or maybe you just constantly feel down after a dance weekend or a dance class, but can’t really put a finger on what exactly is causing that feeling?
First, this is normal.
We’ve all been there...some of us many, many times!
(Yes, that might be a bit of a self-admission.)
If you are letting dance criticism affect you negatively, this could cause a downward spiral or a constant state of sadness or frustration in your dancing.
But, believe it or not, it is possible to turn many of these negative dance criticisms into empowering experiences (from feeling “stupid” to feeling “awesome”).
So let’s jump into one of my favorite methods of lessening the impact of criticism and maybe even making it empowering.
Let's Make Dance Criticisms Empowering
Step 1: Write down at least 5 ways you experience dance criticism “that stings”
- Not seeing your name on the final’s list
- No one asking you to dance and always getting turned down when you ask others
- An eyeball roll from your partner when you try something while dancing
Step 2. Write down what you wish you experienced instead of each of those dance criticisms
- Seeing your name on the final's list
- Everyone asking you to dance and never getting turned down when you ask others
- A smile from your partner when you try something while dancing
Step 3. Write down how you feel (or think you would feel) from each of your responses to Step 2
Ok, we are almost there!
Before we give you the final 2 steps to turn negative criticisms into empowering experiences, let’s consider another layer to why experiencing dance criticism can be so hard.
Could it be the dance criticism (in step 1) “stings” because you might be looking for some sort of validation (like from step 3)?
Check out the table below to see how the dance criticisms and preferred experiences relate to the validations:
Dance criticism that "stings”
Validation you might be seeking
Not seeing your name on the final’s list
Seeing your name on the final's list
A negative comment made by a dance partner as you walk off the floor
A positive comment made by a dance partner as you walk off the floor
Being “good enough”
Do you see how someone wishing to see their name on the final’s list might be seeking the validation of "feeling accomplished”?
And do you see how someone wishing to get a positive comment from their dance partner might be seeking the validation of being “good enough”?
The sting of criticism is often felt (sometimes deeply) when you are “needing” to be validated, and that validation comes from an outside source.
When this is your constant, your life is a continuous roller coaster of emotions, a constant up and down, always looking for the next “fix” of validation from others to feel good. And then when we don’t find the outside validation, we can become depressed, angry, scared, or have a feeling of being lost in the world, just as a few examples.
When the outside validation is just a “nice to have” experience, a person tends to be much more at peace, at ease, happy with who they are and their skillsets (even though there’s always room to improve), regardless of the outside circumstances.
It’s always nice to see your name on the finals list, sure...but you don’t need it to feel happy and “good enough”.
To avoid the downward spiral, I recommend aiming to find validation from within yourself as much of the time as possible, so if and when criticism is present, it doesn’t “knock the wind out of you”.
So let’s do that with this next step!
Step 4: Write down at least 4 simple/easy ways you can start finding validation from within yourself that would create the feelings from Step 3
- Accomplished = Look at videos from when I first started dancing and some recent videos. Notice and celebrate how much I’ve improved.
- Desired = Write down a list of how many times someone did say YES to you for a social dance during a night or over the course of a weekend (beware of note below).
- Successful = Watch any video of mine that I’m proud of!
Now you’ve taken a dance criticism that normally creates a negative feeling (like “stupid”)...
...and turned it into something that can make you feel empowered (or “awesome”)!
Now let’s take one more step to really make this hit home for you (and maybe help others too)...
Step 5. In the comments below, share one or more ways you have experienced dance criticism that stings, how you were looking to be validated, and one way you will turn it into an empowering experience next time.
- I experience criticism that stings when no one asks me to dance. When people ask me then I feel “wanted’. Moving forward I will keep a notebook of all the times I DO get asked to dance.
The Benefits To Commenting Below
- Sharing your solution will more strongly embed this idea in your brain, so the next time you feel this need for validation you are more likely to remember to implement your solution, which will turn that potentially negative experience into an empowering one for you.
- Sharing your solution might help someone else who is struggling to come up with a solution to a similar need for validation.
For Help...Add A Comment
If this method doesn’t work for you in certain circumstances, don’t worry, there are plenty of other ways to help. Add a comment below to share an example criticism where this method doesn't work for you, and we'll try to help.