Week 4: The Real Deal
I have to say this is still one of the most impressive things I’ve ever seen someone do. This will be the best 8 min of your day.
Spice it up.
Learn a few impressive moves.
Get out of my comfort zone.
Dance more and more often.
We have a lot of work to do…
This probably won’t show up on the footage but I feel like mentally I made a ton of progress. At the start of the week I was sort of dreading the practice sessions. It felt so weird to me to dance, alone, in an empty room. By the end of the week I felt myself looking forward to it.
Skill keys are huge! Approaching a practice session with one or two focuses is so much more effective than just doing it with no direction.
I need to figure out how to learn and get better faster. I only have a couple more weeks until I have to do this on stage. I’m thinking I need to watch more videos and get a better idea of moves and things to do to spice it up!
As of Jan 7 there are 112 people participating in the Train Ugly Challenge. That is AWESOME. We have people learning to drive a stick, play the guitar, paddle board, and code. One guy has made it his mission to learn more about personal finance. And my personal favorite… one follower has decided to go on a trip to Italy to learn Italian. WOW!
This is why we decided to do this challenge. It’s not about me. It’s not even about dancing. It’s about learning and inspiring others to go for it. It gives me chills!
Trev Learns to Dance*
On Jan. 30th I’m giving a talk in front of hundreds of teachers in Iowa. As my intro I’m going to do a dance for them. The only problem is… I can’t dance. I’m taking a month to see how good I can get at dancing* using the Train Ugly approach to learning. I have no idea what will happen, but you get front row seats!
This page will be used as a virtual journal. I’ll post all the videos, notes, and experiments that I use on this mission. Here we go!
*By dancing I’m not talking about memorizing some step-by-step routine though (looking at you Cupid Shuffle). I want to be able to hold my own (aka seem smooth/like I know what I’m doing) no matter what song comes on (with or without a partner)
Self Evaluation Pre-test
Why do I suck?
I used to think that I “just wasn’t a dancer,” but after everything I’ve learned about the brain and learning these past few years I realized that the reason I can’t dance is because I haven’t danced enough. Weird, huh…
Why do I avoid dancing?
I think it all boils down to a fear of looking bad in front of others (classic symptom of a fixed mindset). Not wanting to look bad/awkward has kept me from dancing and is also the reason I’m no good. Vicious cycle much?
80/20 Analysis (80/20 Rule explained)
I only have a month so it’s going to be essential for me to focus on only the high impact things that matter most. First – I need to get over the fear of looking bad. When I dance at the conference there will be HUNDREDS of people watching. To get used to this I’ll be posting all of my videos for everyone to see. Second – On the dancing front I think that rhythm will be the most important thing I need to pick up during my practice sessions.
It has to be random
To be a good dancer, in my book, you have to be able to hold your own no matter what song comes on. I’m going to avoid memorizing routines or certain steps. To make my practice more realistic I’m going to hit shuffle on my phone so I don’t even know what song will be playing during the practice session (similar to being in a club).
I have to get comfortable with an audience
All videos will be posted for everyone to see. I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback!
Make it UGLY
I need to find ways to keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone with harder songs, more difficult moves, or whatever the hell else I can think of.
Watch the experts but don’t mirror the experts
I can spend time watching people dance online and pick up some ideas from there. However, during a dance session I am on my own! It would be too easy (and also ineffective) to simply follow someone’s steps during practice. This approach might look good in the moment but I wouldn’t actually be learning anything (click here to see why).
The Train Ugly Principles to Getting Better at Pretty Much Anything (including dancing)
Inspiration from THE MAN, Seth Godin
"No place to hide is the only place to be.
If it matters, we have to remove every single cubbyhole, every nook and cranny where we can escape.
It's only when we are this naked that we're able to fully take our turn and to understand what it is to make something. If it's worth doing, it's worth doing this naked, this alone, this responsibly.
I know you don't want to do this. None of us do, at first. We've been trained to avoid this at all costs, I get that.
But now it's become a crutch and a drag on what you're capable of.
Go, get naked."