• The Peter Principle

    From Wikipedia: “The Peter Principle is a special case of a ubiquitous observation: anything that works will be used in progressively more challenging applications until it fails.”

    See also: my ability to dance the rumba.  I fear that up until recently I may have been coasting on my previous dance experience plus Daniel’s savant-like ability to remember choreography.  But today we started a new rumba routine, having been competing with the same one for probably a couple of years.  The new routine is gorgeous but it’s a huge jump up in difficulty.  In particular, it contains a lot of turns.  Turns are my nemesis but Eddie is big on rotation as a way of creating impact on the floor, so I will have to get on board.  The new routine contains: one underarm turn, one spiral, one 3-step turn, one telemark, and two or three chainés–and we’re not even finished with it.  Until today, I did not know what a telemark was nor that they were used in the rumba. Eddie also put in an alemana originally, and then took it out for now because I could not get my head around it.  It’s definitely a more challenging application.

    I would by no means say that I have failed but since I’m accustomed to things coming somewhat easy, I did get a little impatient.  I know it’ll come; I just wish it would come a little FASTER.  Eddie & Daniel insist on laughing at me when I get impatient, which is (believe it or not) helpful.  Daniel is a big believer in learning the steps and then polishing the technique (sensible!), whereas I want to learn everything at once and do it well right away.  Cases in point:

    • I am dancing with Eddie and he has just corrected my open breaks, which apparently I’ve been doing rather badly for quite some time.  And I am concentrating like anything on doing them really, really well when my attention wanders for .001 second.  I snap back and immediately say “That was terrible,” and Eddie just loses it laughing.  Then I have to laugh because maybe I could stop self-criticizing and just…dance the steps???
    • Having mostly recovered from that one, dancing with Daniel, I 3-step-turn into the telemark and manage to nail Daniel squarely in the forehead with my elbow.  It made a noise!  *klok*  I felt terrible, but he wasn’t hurt, and it was funny.

    So today’s lesson was ostensibly about the rumba but really about not taking myself too seriously.  And maybe about wearing safety equipment when learning new choreography.

4 Responsesso far.

  1. Jamie Wyatt says:

    I always tell my kids, “If you can laugh at yourself, you will always be entertained!” Remember the mantra: “Dancing is FUN! Dancing is FUN!” Something is missing when it ceases to be fun! Y’all always look like you’re having fun. PLEASE don’t lose that! Love y’all!

  2. lauraet says:

    Don’t worry, Jamie; I am still having fun! You know how it is with dancing: sometimes the definition of “fun” includes stuff like intense concentration, blisters, doing the same step 300 times…

  3. Joyce Newman says:

    Ditto to Jamie ! Sometimes the “rules” get in the way of the fun. Only if you are competing do you have to worry about the rules. But, if you like to compete, then anything worth doing is worth doing well. Here’s to many more blue ribbons for you! You deserve them.

  4. lauraet says:

    Thanks, Joyce! Competing is supposed to be fun, too! It’s easy for me to say that it’s more fun to do things well but I do need to get more comfortable with doing them badly, at least at first.

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