Fail Better

West Coast Swing Online Grab Bag

In a novella by Nobel Prize-winning author Samuel Beckett, one of the characters shares a thought on failure:

Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

When we practice, it is tempting to see failure as, well, a failure. But, truly exceptional performers know that failure is an essential part of the learning process. If you aren’t failing, you aren’t improving.

If you want to improve your dancing, you can’t play it safe. You can’t keep doing the same side pass that you’ve always done. Find something in your dance that you are failing at, and do it again. Keep going until you fail at a higher level. For a beginner, you might move from failing to keep the timing of your triples to failing to roll through the feet. That’s a huge improvement. Failing to roll through your feet is failing at a much higher level than the failure to keep time. If you can move to failing at a higher level, your dance will improve substantially.

Keep trying. Keep failing. Fail better.

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