I know this may sound crazy, but November may be the perfect month to ‘lose’. It is approaching the end of the year and stakes are high to get the best results. You and your partner have been training three to six times a week. You see your coach more than your own mother and you count foxtrot timing in your sleep. We all love to win. It is the whole reason we compete. But say you decide to step back from the gold podium and let someone else take over, just once. There is a lot to learn when you finish second best. It is important to master the art of losing before you nail the art of winning. Why should we have to lose when we can win?  You learn how to value a win Without dignity, resilience and grace, winning has very little substance. It becomes as fake as the plastic trophy you receive. The best part of observing a true winner in that moment of recognition, is their gratitude toward their dance partner, the adjudicators, coach and family. It is inspiring to see a win in its purity by spreading joy to others around them. If you think you possess the poise and grace to be a beautiful winner, then you have missed the point entirely. Gratitude can be found in people who constantly aim to learn, strive and achieve in a courageous and kind-hearted manner. They do not expect to win; they only expect to be the best version of themselves. When they do win, it is a gratifying and rewarding experience. To really soak up your future win, aim to be resilient. Losing will automatically put these values into perspective if you do not wear the burden of selfishness. You can gain positive energy To be a winner is to hold status. You can feel appreciated and recognised for your hard work though a win. But have you come second best and thought you did not deserve to be placed behind your opponent? This is the attitude I would like to eradicate from myself. I am guilty of feeling cheated of a win at some stage of my dancing. But to what length is this way of thinking benefiting me? It brings to the surface a kind of self-centred quality, one that can also be visible to others around you. Negative energy is toxic. It is time to gain positive vibes to ensure a fun yet motivating experience. Losing can be a clever tactic  If you have always been a winner, this could be the best tactic to trick your competition into a false sense of security. Your opponent may take your loss as a sign of weakness, but in reality this is completely untrue. A loss can only give you greater strength and courage to reach your full potential. And be careful, your opponent may have figured this one out already! You can feel uninhibited without pressure to win Your aim for this year is to win the Aussies, correct? The dictionary says to feel uninhibited is to be expressive without restraint. This is exactly what you should aim to achieve. Give yourself licence to be boundlessly expressive. It may be wise to treat November as the rehearsal before the December event. Go out on the competition floor as hard and fast as you can until your muscles feel physically exhausted. Feel like you have covered every ounce of your body in complete and utter dedication. If you can achieve all of this, then you have already won. Take pride in that…and then a rest. Make as many mistakes as you can While you are dancing, feel free to make mistakes. Make plenty of mistakes. When we think we have failed, we generally learn from those mistakes to ensure we do not make them again. Dancers who make mistakes by pushing their bodies to the limits will reap all the benefits of personal improvement, a whopping confidence boost and self-appreciation. So, what have you really got to lose? Article as seen in the Australian Dance Review, written by Jessica Poulter

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