I’m having a conversation with a client about their career progression… or to be more precise, the lack thereof. They were recently laid off from a great position because the company had been sold and the new (foreign) owners were effectively shutting down the Canadian corporate functional organization. The person received a very generous severance package and was able to find new employment even before the severance cheque cleared the bank. Life is good, right? Not for the client, at least in their self-perception.
The job – although it pays quite well – is a step or two below their previous role (and paycheque). The client is struggling with the idea that they have regressed in their career, that over the past number of years, they have essentially taken the proverbial one step forward and two steps back.
To which I say, that’s not a setback; it’s cha-cha. What’s more, it’s the path of a great dancer in the personal growth of their craft.
For those of us who have danced a long time, it’s pretty much a given that our skill and progress – however one chooses to measure that elusive quality – is not “monotonically increasing” (as the science geeks might say), that is, forever on a continuous, upwards trajectory. We have setbacks in our skill and capability from time to time. We plateau. We might even get totally bored with our repertoire of moves and patterns without a real opportunity to find something that is sufficiently new and novel.
This is when returning to class, even to study the foundations and fundamentals, albeit at a higher, more detailed level might help. Get an assessment of your accumulated “bad habits.” Find areas to focus on that have always represented the snags in your partner dancing. Or, concentrate on musicality and discover all the musical “hits” that you can style in new ways. Smooth out your footwork, and sharpen your turns. Improve your posture and firm up your connection and frame.
Although it may be heresy to say this in a salsa-oriented newsletter, you might even want to take a lesson or two of a completely different style, and use that knowledge to return to salsa with new insights on your old dance. When you do return to salsa lessons (for example, our Foundation class at 7:00 each week), bring with you a renewed learning mindset and new objectives for what you want to accomplish when you join us and we…
See you on the dance floor!