Blog / Choreography / Dance / Lifestyle

What Am I Afraid Of?

Jesse by joseph@josephspelman.com 2015-09-23 (15)Ever wonder why the blog goes silent for awhile? I’ll tell you. I don’t have much to say on those days and I don’t want to fill your feed with froo froo posts just to say I’m posting often. I’ve repeated over and over again how I want this space to honest, real, and a peek into a dancers life, so let’s  keep it there for today. Here comes another deep dancer post…don’t complain I didn’t warn you 🙂

Did you catch that? I just tried to get you to skip this post because I am afraid.  Not afraid of the boogie monster or zombies, although I probably should be, I’m afraid of failure.  You may be wondering why I chose to be a dancer then? Failure is more common than success and I didn’t step into this career blind about it. I knew I would get cut at 100 auditions before booking one, or fail in class multiple times.

This doesn’t scare me.  I’m not afraid of messing up in class, getting cut at an audition, or falling on stage.  I’m simply afraid of disappointing others. Why should I care about others? I shouldn’t.

I had a teacher tell me just the other day that I’ve got to figure out how to let go. “Screw perfect” she said. I get that and I am always preaching to my students the same principle. Perfect is boring.  How the heck do I let go? Is it just that easy? I’ll take any and all available tips!

Apparently not for me. I like to be in control. Control of my schedule, control of my job, and control of my body. Well its 2016 and it’s time for a change.

Have you ever heard the story of Icarus? To sum it up Icarus and his father attempt to escape from Crete by means of wings that his father constructed from feathers and wax. Icarus’s father warns him first of complacency and then of hubris, asking that he fly neither too low nor too high, so the sea’s dampness would not clog his wings or the sun’s heat melt them. Icarus ignored his father’s instructions not to fly too close to the sun, whereupon the wax in his wings melted and he fell into the sea.

The first time I heard this story I was only told half. I believed the story to only contain a warning of being too confident and flying too close to the sun.  It recently came to my attention I had not heard the entire story.  Icarus is also warned of flying too low. Has anyone ever warned you of flying too low? Probably not and I’ll tell you why.  It’s easy for the media, society, and culture to warn us of getting over confident and flying to high. They’d like us to fly to low. Flying to low keeps us from gaining wings to fly at our highest. I had the opportunity to sit an listen to Seth Godin a few months back and he shared another analogy I loved. We gain nothing from standing on the edge of a cliff. But if we run and jump we either fly or find our wings on the way down.

I spent 2015 standing on the edge afraid of failure and I refuse to spend 2016 the same way. Although I may crash a burn, an artist never holds back. I’m going to brave and I invite you to do the same.

Happy New year friends!



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