"Are you Ready for This?"

My husband and I are ballroom dancers. We enjoy the social aspects and learning new dances and steps. Every once in a while, we agree to showcase our dancing by doing a dance routine for a show. Our most recent show was a jungle theme. We worked up a routine that started with Bolero and segued into a Samba, a new dance for us. As the date of the show got closer, our friends began to ask us: "Are you ready for this?" The evening of the show, as we enjoyed social time with the other dance friends, we heard the question, "Are you ready for this?" several times. Being a musician and performer, my response is usually something like "As ready as we will ever be." 

Now, as my students are nearing their flute recital, the thought occurred to me that family and friends who might innocently ask them if they are "ready for this" might unintentionally rachet up the anxiety level that many performers, both experienced and inexperienced, might have about their performance. One of the conversations that I have with my students is that a performance is not about perfection. When my husband and I dance, we make mistakes. Our hope is that no one will notice them. (Of course, our dance teacher knows...) The main idea is to try to make a beautiful dance routine, or, in the case of a recital, a beautiful piece of music. While we all try for perfection in notes, rhythms, expression, the reality is that rarely does that all come together for a perfect performance, if ever. 

The bottom line is we all have to be kind to ourselves and realize that no one is perfect. Keep working on doing the best that YOU can do and do your best to enjoy what you do!

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