Welcome to Episode 42 of the Salsa Kings LIVE podcast
Andres wants to talk about an important topic: that of humility. It’s important to realize that everyone’s skills and experiences are your own and no one else’s. It’s important to respect the difference between people’s experiences, and their own work on dance, which will be different from your own. The idea that you are a better or more experience than another dancer is only going to keep you from growing as a dancer yourself. The important focus should be on your self-improvement, and you cannot do that if you are focused on how much better you are than others.
As dancers, we want the community to grow, and nothing turns off newcomers faster than someone who believes they know more than everyone else. This isn’t unique to dance. In all aspects, you want to be welcoming and nonjudgmental, so more people can come to love what you love.Believing you know everything is just ignorance. There is always growth and new things to learn. Even if somehow, you are the greatest dancer in the world, you should still be expanding, inventing, and inspiring. If you can’t do that, then what kind of number one are you? And most of you, all due respect, are not the number one dancer. That is why it is always important to have humility and to have respect not just for your teachers, but also your fellow dancers.
Now, only you can dance like you. You need to take the time to invest and figure yourself out. That takes humility and introspection. Finding out who you are as a dancer and person is very difficult. You’re an amalgamation of all the people you respect and love and influence. Through realizing this and through being self-aware about it, you can become a better dancer. Taking the styles and energies of dancers you like will make the kind of dancer only you can make, and that can only be done by having humility about it.
Even among the public social dancers, it’s important to have humility. You’d be surprised what you can learn from people who are watching you, and not as concerned with the ‘correct’ way to do things.
Humility can be difficult, but dance is about self-discovery and self-expression. If you can maintain a humble attitude throughout dancing, then you have come that much closer to realizing just the kind of dancer you can be.
“To be able to take any and all growth opportunities and to take advantage of them. It is impossible to be able to [grow] if you have an attitude of ‘I know all that already’ or ‘I know this already’. Because even if you do, being able to understand that that person had the courage or was inspired to tell you something, that means something. It may not mean a lot, but it means something and it is not wise to simply ignore it.”