The Je Ne Sais Quoi
While it's hard to say that judges mark you on something as vague and uncalculable as charisma, if I'm wavering between one couple or another, there are random charms that might push you into first place.
It's hard to put a finger on what exactly these qualities are, but here I go sticking my finger on them:
- an amazing smile - there's A LOT to be said for someone who is clearly having a good time. One of my favorite [many time national and world professional finalist] Smooth dancers often smiled through her whole Tango. HER TANGO! And it WORKED. Even if you're dancing a "serious" dance, it's awesome to let your love of dance shine through... your face.
- chemistry with your partner - you can't fake this one, no matter how many acting classes you take. There are a lot of gestures that say "chemistry" and those are great to implement, but there are some couples who you just want to see make out when they're dancing. Think you have to be smooching your partner in your spare time to get this reaction? Nope. Often, it's partners who are NOT together, couples who can't stand each other (ever, or just at the moment) or even couples who aren't of the same... persuasion, but they have an electric vibe that makes it hard to tear yourself away. It's basically luck of the draw, but it's an eye-catching factor nonetheless.
- an odd package - there was the Junior competitor who looked like she was going to murder everyone because she was very clearly not having fun, but she was killing her moves instead; there's the classic above/below-average height/weight/age competitor who kicks your butt, but who you initially wrote off as too [fill in the blank]; there was the UGLIEST dress ever. Usually, this doesn't happen to purpose, but I'm going to watch it (and love it) when it does.
- a perfect package - sometimes, couples get it right: the hair, the makeup, the costumes, and the coordination of all of it between the man and lady. They're just nice to look at. It's doesn't have to be expensive, but it does require a lot of thought... and second... and third opinions.
- a clear winner - there are competitions where a clear winner shows up. You know, you're at a small, two-day comp and then a national finalist shows up? Bask in the glory of the living the meaning of "Dance like no one is watching" because even your mom is probably watching that couple. Unless that couple is you. And then, heyyyyyy, LOOK AT YOU.
Not to channel my inner self-help guru, but to help you find your "je ne sais quoi", ask yourself a few questions:
- what makes you different? Do you have long arms? Can you spin/kick/smile like a champ? Do you have a great sense of style? Do you love the color pink?
- how can you use your unique neatness? Can you learn/incorporate amazing arm styling into your repertoire? Could you add an extra spin/kick/smile to your routines? Would you work with a designer to create the perfect dress? Will you make all your costumes pink?
- don't know the answers? Ask around. Your teachers, coaches, friends, and family can help you out. In fact, that's what teachers and coaches do for a living.
Go forth and conquer, my dancers.
One year ago: Vintage Crochet, in which knowing is half the battle.