When I began this blog, there were a few promises I made myself: that I would maintain as much privacy and anonymity as possible. That I would keep it as positive as possible, only using the negative to accentuate the good. That I would never use this as a venting platform, complaining about people or situations that obviously cannot defend their side.

The positivity promise I’ve already bent several times already, for the simple reason that it’s not realistic. There are bad days. There are awful days. There are days when finding the good in the moment is so hard. And that’s reality. To everything in life, as much as we love it, there is a dark side.

There’s no such thing as a perfect teacher. As much as I’ve said I love mine, he is far from perfect. Some days he gets me so frustrated. Some days he genuinely hurts my feelings. Some days he just gets me downright angry. A few weeks ago, today’s inspiration, I was so angry at him that when practice was over I tried to storm out of the studio the second my sneakers were on if he hadn’t stopped me and made me talk to him. I was so angry that even after a dancemate stuck around to make sure I was okay, walk me to my car, and calm me down. The specifics are irrelevant. I was frustrated at the situation, and angry at the way he chose to handle it, and the way it made me feel as his student. In honesty, I think it was the beginning of a change in our relationship as student/teacher.

There’s no such thing as a perfect dancer. You can train and study and practice, but all you will ever be is better, never best. You will always find someone who in some way or form is better than you. You will have moments of jealousy. Your self-esteem will take blows. You will feel low and frustrated. You will leave some lessons and practices feeling like you somehow have become a worse dancer. You will be sure everyone else just gets it and you don’t.

Not everyone will be in your best interest. You will dance with people that hurt you and then complain it’s because you weren’t doing it right. You will meet teachers and dancers that aren’t so much invested in making you the best version of yourself, but trying to make you into something else they think is better. You will meet dancers that plain and simple don’t like you.

Sometimes dancing will injure you. No matter how careful or skillful you are. It only takes one wrong choice, wrong turn, or wrong step from you or your partner. Sometimes it’s easy to come back. And sometimes you will spend a long time in fear of being injured again.

To everything there’s a dark side. But when something is worth it, it’s worth putting up with and fighting against the bad to keep the good. As much as I love dancing, and I want people to see all that there is to love about it, it’s also important to acknowledge the bad. That it can and will happen.