There’s this woman Georgia in my dance class — by that, I mean my instructor Cebo’s dance class, which I take, not teach — who’s amazing.
I often watch her and think, “Oh, so THAT’S how that move should look.”
She’s super hard on herself. Always yelling out “Aahhhhhh!” when she messes up a move as if anyone would notice and as if it matters to get it exactly right. It’s a class, not an audition for “Hairspray.” Though I get it, I like to get the moves right, too. It’s just that she looks so good dancing that, who cares?
She’s a Pilates instructor as well as a dancer. While we were waiting to get into the studio for Cebo’s class, I told her I liked her Pilates promotions on Instagram. She’d posted a story or two with a great picture of her doing some Pilates move that I couldn’t name because I haven’t done Pilates since the 90s, when everyone with a hot body would gesture to their cut arms and flat abs and say, “Oh, it’s all Pilates.” Didn’t work for me, hated it. I have no core, and I’m OK with that. (And BTW, please don’t write back and tell me you’d show me how to love Pilates. There are enough people who WANT to do Pilates to fill your practice, if you’re a Pilates instructor.)
Anyway, back on track here: when I congratulated her for promoting her classes, she rolled her eyes and said “I know, I’m trying. But I feel like people are going to be like, ‘Go away.’ I hate being all ‘Look at me!’ I feel…” [punctuated with a shiver and an “ick” face.]
I get that. But I said to her, “People need you to be all ‘look at me.’ They want you to be a star. They want a leader, someone they can look at and say, “I want to learn to do that. I want to be like Georgia. I’m going to do it; I’m going to try her class.”
She said, “Yeah, yeah…I guess you’re right.”
And then I pointed out, “Do you think it’s gross when Cebo posts a dance video? Or are you like, ‘Oh man, Cebo’s the best! I wanna do that!'”
“People are looking for leaders.” I told her. “They’re glad when you’re a star; they want to look up to you.”
If it sounds like I did a lot of lecturing there by the studio door, you’re right — I just get excited about talented people promoting themselves. (Also, know that it was very casual. I said it all while making a ponytail, with a hair tie in my mouth, and rubbing my feet in the bin of baby powder. And then pulling up my workout pants, which had that uncomfortable gap below the crotch).
You can picture me doing that now as I tell you the same —
Don’t you look for people to follow, model, aspire to? Do you want those people to go away? No?
Well then: Same for you. YOU be willing to be a star.
People want leaders, and they want to look up to you.
It makes them happy and motivates them.
It shows them what’s possible.
You’re not doing anyone any favors if you hide and refuse to be all “Look at me.”
DO be all “Look at me.”
That’s what I’m doing right now, aren’t you glad?