A student came up to me at an Arthur Murray event and said “Rocco, I wouldn’t pay a nickel for a dance lesson, but I’d pay just about anything to feel the way dancing makes me feel” I wasn’t sure what to say at first. Was he dissatisfied with his dance lessons, or was he extra satisfied? After thinking about the comment for a while, I decided to approach the student again at our next event to see if he could clarify.
He explained that dance lessons aren’t always easy. Sometimes he would struggle with a step and feel frustrated and confused. We’re all only human after all, and dancing is a skill we’re not all naturally good at. He said that dance lessons reminded him of team practices for his college football team. He would struggle and push himself every time to get better and, because he wasn’t naturally athletic he often felt that he was making progress inch by inch. Sometimes he felt like quitting.
Yet when game day came…
You see, we were at an Arthur Murray event. And unless you’ve experienced what it’s like to dance in an event, you can’t understand the emotional high my student-friend was experiencing. I’d just watched him perform a Tango routine at the Bronze Three level, no small feat, and he’d done a fantastic job on the floor. Those inches of progress he’d made in his lessons had accumulated into miles!
I came to understand his lesson. He was telling me that, yes, learning to dance can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. But unlike so many things in life where you try and try and have no idea where you stand, dancing is a skill in which you can really measure your progress and feel a sense of achievement. When you’re on the floor at an Arthur Murray event, every minute of hard work pays off in one climactic moment. You dance, people clap, lights shine, and, while you’re out there performing, the world belongs to you.
If dance lessons didn’t give you that feeling, they’d be worthless. But because they do, they’re priceless.