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Go out there and be terrible

Have you been laughed at, ridiculed or given a bad review? No? Well then, try harder.

Seriously though, you have to be terrible before you are good. If you are always good at everything, are you reaching enough?

The faculty hated that Pink Floyd piece I choreographed in college and reluctantly put it in the concert. I sang and tap danced in a showcase and got completely laughed at. There are many other instances. I learned so much from all of them.

Being formulaic is a comfortable place to be. If you do A, B and C, it will look like this and conform to expectations, like #1 songs on the Billboard charts. Check all the boxes.

The path to being remarkable is full of trying things that fail, being wrong, being rejected and being criticized. The sweet reward of this path is looking back and knowing that when you wanted to try something, you did.

By Denise Caston-Clark

Hi! I'm Denise Caston-Clark, a professional dancer, choreographer and dance educator. I am a former Radio City Rockette and currently direct Tap Dance Detroit and the annual Motor City Tap Fest.

2 replies on “Go out there and be terrible”

Awesome thoughts! Gotta try lots of stuff to find new things that work well. What Pink Floyd song did you use? I used “On the Turning Away” in a piece I choereographed about poverty in college.

Pretty sure it was Breathe (In the Air). I’m afraid to even explore finding the video haha.

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