It’s a common cliche to say “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Except the truth is that we all do it. All the time. And we judge dancers by their covers as well. Guys, I’m talking to you. You know you’re guilty of it. You look over to the side of the room, see two girls standing side by side, and you walk up and ask the “pretty” one to dance. I confess that I am also guilty of this, guilty of making those rash judgements.
But I also try to look past those snap decisions to ask everyone to dance. No matter what shape and size, how tall or how short, how old or how young. . .I am constantly surprised and amazed. I’ve danced with full-figured women who are as light as a feather and spin like a top. And I’ve danced with petite women who dance heavy into the floor so we can get a lot of rockin’ counterbalance and momentum going. I constantly have my expectations blown out of the water.
A beautiful face or the “ideal” figure isn’t going to make anyone a better dancer. A dancer’s passion isn’t determined by the fact that they are 21 years old or 61 years young. Having a great fashion sense won’t make anyone’s swingout better. But constantly making choices based on those instantaneous judgements does have an impact on our community. Do we want to create a space where women have to be enough? Pretty enough? Skinny enough? Young enough? Good enough? I don’t.
I want to create a space where you’re enough when you walk through the door. You are awesome enough. Awesome because you had the courage to try something new for the first time. Awesome because you light up every time you hear the sound of a big band. Awesome because you are dedicated and work hard to master that swingout or that swivel. Awesome because you are a passionate human being that wants to move and be moved, and you are willing to share that with me.