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Dance Like the World is Watching


Depending on the source, it was either Mark Twain, some random philosopher standing alongside of the road, or a computer-generated quote machine that said, “Dance like there’s no one’s watching, love like you’ve never been hurt and sing like there’s nobody listening…and you will win the Powerball lottery and the mysteries of the Universe will be revealed.” OK, so the last part was my addition but you’ve seen the quote on enough cheesy Facebook inspirational pages to know it by heart.

The quote was running through my head one foggy Sunday morning while I was sitting at my computer watching this video from BBC.

For those of you who refuse to watch the short video, the piece features two New York City artists who document their creative process via social media and webcams. Artist Borbay opens the story by talking about how seeing behind the scenes is a very important part of the creative processes. This got me thinking about polished stories and art and how no one like to show what they’ve done until it’s perfect. By doing that, however, we are hiding our inspiration from others who might learn from us.

Think about it: We subscribe to author’s blogs and Facebook pages to watch and learn about their writing process, we hungrily eat up behind-the-scenes looks on DVDs and getting a sneak peak at anything is like getting a free piece of candy. My husband enjoys watching the behind the scenes making of The Lord of the Rings more than he likes watching the movie. I enjoy going to plays and seeing the displays in the lobby outlining how the costume designers made and designed the costumes.

Many of the guests on A Closer Look Radio talk about transparency in business and how a business HAS to be transparent in order to succeed. By having transparency, it helps me feel like I’m really part of something and shows me a company’s decision making process. Much like my favorite musician or artist, I like watching the creative process.

We get caught up in not being perfect and not wanting to show people anything we’ve done instead of just enjoying the process and sharing the experience.

When I was in high school working for my parents in Small Town, Minnesota, I went to a Friday night dance at the pavilion by myself. The music was typical Small Town Minnesota rawk so I went up to the DJ and asked if he had any Jane’s Addiction. He did and he played Been Caught Stealing. I was so excited for the break in Whitesnake and late 80s hair bands, I danced on the nearly empty dance floor, BY MYSELF, poorly and I didn’t care. I danced and people watched.

By hiding our creative processes, we’re not helping or inspiring anyone. So, the next time you have the opportunity to dance while people watch, go for it! They’ll just take pictures and post it on Facebook…and you’ll be an overnight success.


About Anna Alexander

I get ideas. I write things. I sometimes follow through with those ideas. I also run long distances and live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband cat who lets us pay the mortgage on his house.

One response »

  1. Thank you for the shout Anna, great piece…


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