Dancers Brendan McGlynn and Sarah Doudna caught in a candid shot while dancing at Shanghai Mermaid Old Hollywood New Year’s Eve 2015.

Have you ever been in a class or at an audition or out social dancing and you suddenly think all the other dancers are better than me!  You may be exaggerating, but yes, sometimes you may be (or feel like) the worst dancer in the room. What do you do? Don’t freak out.

1. Remember you have just as much right to be there as anyone else, yes, even if you are the very worst one! If you are here to take class, or social dance, you paid your money, you have just as much right as anyone else even if you’re having one of those days when you think you can’t dance. If you are at an audition, you have just as much right to be there as anyone else, no matter what your thoughts tell you.

2. Those people are all wearing the “right thing” and I just have this. Don’t leave the ball, Cinderella. Wear what you have, it’s going to be okay! If it’s totally inappropriate and possibly exposing, hopefully the teacher or a friend will let you know (or lend you a tank top or some safety shorts) before you embarrass yourself. If someone judges your garments, that is way more of a reflection of their own selves and their issues. (That’s true of everything other people do, incidentally.) Sometimes your favorite clothes are just in the laundry. Oh well! As you gain experience going to more classes, or auditions, or dances, you’ll get more comfortable and you’ll figure out what to wear, and what suits you best. Maybe you’ll invest in some ballet slippers or get an audition outfit that really shows you off, or find a red vintage dress with that perfect swingy flair. Too bad fairy godmothers don’t show up in real life with the exact right thing to wear. Imperfection suits you. Wear it proud!

2. That girl just blotted her lipstick with her grand battlement devant!  Fancy tricks, high legs, are fine and dandy, but just because you don’t have that flexibility, doesn’t mean you aren’t a good dancer. Nothing beats well placed, lengthened, turned out legs, even if your calves aren’t up around your earlobes. Yes, work on your placement and challenge yourself to get your legs higher, but don’t let ‘lipstick legs’ over there ruin your experience.

3. Screw that, they are typing us out by having everyone do triple turns and all I’ve got is a measly single!!! Stay proud, mama. You do you as strong as you can. Pull up like a rockstar, and knock that single turn out of the ball park. Smile like you have a secret. That secret may be “all I have is this lousy single turn, and this is ridiculous”. Yes, it’s totally silly to judge humans on their ability to do a stupid pirouette. But they’ll notice that girl with the stellar attitude, amazing smile, and terrific single turn and they’ll say, “Hey, maybe we can use her!” Auditions can be brutal to the self esteem.You never know. Don’t give up.

No matter how you feel inside, how intimidated or scared or frustrated, no matter what you are or aren’t wearing,or what other people are doing or saying, or how amazing they are dancing, or how bad the music is; if life gives you an opportunity, and if you get the chance, and someone asks you, don’t freak out, just dance!