I am mostly known as a Latin Dancer and I am still learning a lot of things about how to be a better dancer and a better coach. One of the biggest challenges is performing. Undoubtedly one of the hardest things I do, apart from starting a blog. To be able to perform at the level that I do requires practicing for hundreds of hours, getting my body flexible, strong and explosive. Also do not forget building a beautiful charismatic unique sexy smile. After that, you need to create and then hone a choreography that expresses what I really want to express. Do not forget getting the makeup and the outfit right including the shoes. They have to be newish, not new because my feet have to feel comfortable but they still have to look nice. The day you are going to get on the stage so many things go through your brain and a great part of you does not want to show the world your art that you work so hard for. Sometimes after I perform I feel this sense of accomplishment, but that happens only if through the whole process I was being loyal to myself to what I really was at that point.
In other words, It is more about preparing as much as you can to create something to allow you to be yourself on the stage. There are so many amazing dancers that I admire and respect, some world champions like Adriano Ieropoli and Mario Acosta and others like Rodrigo Cortazar and Adolfo, some of the best performers that I’ve ever seen, they seem to grow as they move to the music. All of them, amazing dancers. By the time I decided ok let’s be the best dancer I can be, like 5 years ago, it was easy to get in the trap of trying to be like them. I trained with them and like them, mimicking their movements, their expressions, paying attention to when and how their feet touch the floor. Above all, I did not find myself in being a copy of those guys. It was honestly a very frustrating period of my life. Because I really wanted to be able to do a lot of what they do. I could do some of their movements but not everything. Even though the more I trained the more I could do, it was not enough to be like them. Yes, I failed at being them. Of course I failed. There is only one of them, duuuuu, themselves. Hence I can only be… Pedro. That was one of the best Eureka Moments I had in my life. Especially because this principle could be applied in many other areas of my life. Despite this new concept I did not know how to be myself. What does it mean to be Pedro?
Those guys are all so beautiful and amazing because they are precisely themselves. The more danced I could see in the mirror and in my videos the more moves and structures I could find where I was clearly myself, unique. And gosh I loved when I was me. The geeky-dorky guy that loves reading, anime and dad jokes. The Venezuelan guy that is tall, flexible and strong. A man capable of being a little bit of everyone.
One thing that most of my favorite dancers have in common is that they are around 15 cm smaller than me. Just by that measure you can see already that it will be impossible for me to dance like them. Actually meeting them helped me to realise that I am huge beside them. I am a gorilla, a very flexible one, and they are like very talented chimpanzees. Not trying to offend just to make my point. However, training with them and like them taught me a lot about being myself. Imagining that I am training some of Rodrigo’s footwork and I could look close enough, but still I was not quite the same. There was always a little gap and that gap very often meant that I have a space to be me. Sometimes it was a complete disaster but sometimes, sometimes it was a beautiful insight that made me closer to finding my own style. I said to myself, “Pedro you just need enough sometimes”. This is when putting in the hours and doing the shows really helped. I could find more and more what it means to dance like Pedro. I am still struggling to be consistent with it.
Finding who you really are is a challenging path that requires a lot of courage. It is a path that never ends. It requires accepting that sometimes you don’t know who you are. A journey that might end up transforming you into something far away from what you thought you were or what you wanted to be. Where you persistently have to be vulnerable and take risks, of course some tears here and there and why not some triumphs. Nevertheless, a path that the more you try the more you get to feel like life is getting more and more colour, and those performances start becoming a celebration of who you are in the same way this writing is an honest reflection of what I am. Once again a work in progress.
When I decided that I was going to write for the world. It was really confronting. Because who needs another blogger? Let alone another english as a second language speaker to be writing anything? So I said to myself, Myself If you are a writer or want to be a writer you need to start by consistently doing it, getting your work out there, always trying to find the best writer you can be. Yes, I am afraid of being here writing. But this is my path to learn, to grow toward communicating better. I hope I can also help some people to be the best version of themselves.