Swing Dancing: Talent or Grit?

The latest blog by swing dancer Charlotte

“I can’t dance” – does this sound familiar?

Even if you know you can dance somewhat, every beginner swing dancer wants to get past the awkward rock-step tri-ple step stage and onto the thrills of social dancing with everyone.

Blog Post By Charlotte Bailey
Blog Post By Charlotte Bailey

And once you’ve caught the swing dancing bug, you want to learn fast!

It can be pretty nerve wracking as well when some in your class learn quicker than you.

But if you feel like you don’t have a natural talent for dancing, this shouldn’t stop you!

Here’s the reason why natural talent isn’t needed to experience the life-long benefits of swing dancing…

GRIT trumps Talent 

I started dancing with a friend, and he quit pretty early on because he said he didn’t have ‘natural rhythm’.

Even I have to admit, I picked up dancing pretty quickly early on but then I hit a wall. I didn’t have the talent for it, I figured.

But this Ted Ex speaker Angela Lee Duckworth research shows that in everything in life,  Perseverance, or Grit, is the best indicator of success. Not Talent!

I’ve never mentioned this to my friend who quit, but a guy called Sahid began swing dancing the same time as us and he really struggled. He was always slightly off beat with the footwork. You could hear him muttering counts under his breathe.

Then I met him a few months later at a swing dancing social, and guess what? He was by far the most fun to dance with! He’d practised the moves so much to overcome his lack of ‘natural talent’!

When you’re getting things wrong and feeling flustered, keep going. Mistakes means you’re learning.

So if you want to learn, don’t give up! You’ll get there eventually.

Listen to the music in your spare time, while you’re cleaning or travelling.

Take 10 minutes to practise the steps in your room every now and again – even this much can make a huge difference!

Do it until it becomes so natural you don’t have to think about it.

If you want to learn to dance, you most certainly can!

Talent has nothing to do with it ; )

All the best,

Charlotte x


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