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A Lovely Dance Community

I’d like to tell you a story that highlights what kind of a lovely dance community we all dance in.

Recently, I was asked to call a single dance at a prestigious dance weekend. Just one dance. I flubbed it, flubbed it badly. I could describe to you the dance I called & why it was a difficult dance to call, and why I’ve decided not to ever call it again, but that’s not my point.

The organizer gave me a second chance. While someone else called a dance, I pawed through my dance cards & found another dance. I came back up & called a lovely little dance (“Pinewoods Crossing”), and I called it well. I managed to salvage a little pride.

But once again, that’s not my point. I think it was because I flubbed the first dance that later that weekend several people sought me out, complimented me on the dance I eventually called.

They were genuine in their praise. They didn’t rush up & compliment me right after I called the dance. As our paths crossed later in that weekend, they let me know how much they liked the dance I eventually called -- and none of them mentioned the fact that I failed -- failed miserably -- in public.

“Pinewoods Crossing” is a lovely little dance, especially the slightly unusual gypsy your neighbor one and a half times & then circle left. Once you catch on to that move, which is followed by a ladies chain & a half a hey, the whole dance has a beautiful flow.

But I feel they complimented me more than they would have if I had just called that dance. Because I flubbed badly, they needed to comfort me -- and they comforted me with a piece of the truth: they really did like the dance I eventually called.

One man even spoke to me about persisting with the dance that didn’t work (it does work -- I explained it badly) because the dance community needs challenging dances.

What a supportive dance community we all dance in! This is a community that wants others to succeed. They feel (correctly!), that the better you are, as a dancer, as a caller, the better we all become. Your competence increases everyone’s competence and pleasure. There is very little competition. We want you to be, so to speak, the best that you can be. Great callers, great bands, great dancers, inspire those around them to higher levels. We are in that rare situation called a win-win situation.

Not the fake win-win situation of negotiation where everyone knows that every one compromised.

This is true win-win situation.

I feel people praised me because, initially, I failed miserably. I am sure they felt a need to support me.

We live within a lovely community -- a community that supports and praises others within that community. What is best for one is best for all. I guess that is part of why we choose to live within this lovely dance community.

Copyright 2006   Henry Morgenstein

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