Intro: Welcome to Words That Move Me, the podcast where movers and shakers, like you, get the information and inspiration you need to navigate your creative career with clarity and confidence. I am your host, Dana Wilson, and I move people. I am all about the tools and techniques that empower tomorrow's leaders to make the work of their dreams and live a full life while doing it. So whether you're new to the game or transitioning to your next echelon of greatness, you're in the right place.
Dana: Hello my friend. This is Dana. Welcome to Words That Move Me. I'm stoked that you are here. This is a special, special episode, but perhaps not for the reason that you think it is special. Today, I will be introducing you to a tool which is useful, um, and special. The tool itself is special, but what is special about this episode, y'all, is that I have no notes in front of me.
Zero, not a word on a page, not an outline, not a bullet. So it is a marvel that I was even able to introduce the podcast successfully. Did I thank you for being here? I don't remember, and I don't have it in my notes, so we're gonna hope that I did. Today we are talking about a concept that has really changed my dance life and I'm now learning how to use it in other areas of my life as well. This, this concept I call show and prove. That concept was introduced to me by a dear friend, Shaun Evaristo, and I'm gonna tell you the whole story in the second, but the context was freestyle dance. So it feels very appropriate that I would be introducing this concept to you while fully frees styling an episode. My fingers crossed. Um, but this is me applying the tool in real time.
We're talking about show improv. I'm super excited, but first we're gonna do some wins. Uh, we always do wins on the podcast, and today I am celebrating that I'm recording this episode after, okay, if you live in LA and you are listening to this on the day of its release, it's been raining for days and last night was particularly heavy. I took a note on my phone. Um, the Weather Center said that we were experiencing wait for it, a strong atmospheric river storm, which will bring periods of widespread heavy rainfall. Anyways, there was a flood watch last night, atmospheric River Storm. That's the name of a piece right there. Um, or a B Boy, B Boy, atmospheric River Storm. Could you imagine? Maybe that's my new b b girl name. Anyways, it was such a rainy night. I woke up again. It was super gray. It was a real struggle to get out of the bed this morning and onto that Peloton and into that shower and into this booth <laugh>. So I'm celebrating finding that focus and motivation to get down with my day, even though the rain was beckoning me to stay. I think if I play my cards right, I might get a nap later and it'll still be raining so I can win and win. That is what is winning in my world. How about you? Uh, hit me with your wins. What's going well in your world?
Yay. Congratulations my friend. I'm so glad that you're winning. Please keep it up. And if you are in LA it's probably stopped raining by the time you'll hear this episode, but please be safe out there, um, and be good to each other. I know for myself, particularly driving in LA when it is rainy can bring out the worst in folks. So be kind. Remember, you don't know what anybody's going through. Um, we humans, we're all good and we can all be bad. Um, and that is okay, especially if you can lead with kindness. Check yourself. I'm talking to myself by the way. All right, here we are talking about show and proof. I'm gonna tell you a story. So a hundred years ago when I was 20, um, I think I was, I don't actually remember how old I was. Sean Ariso, good buddy and dance hero of mine invited me to collaborate on a duet with him, um, to Miguel's sure thing.
And that song is forever baked into my heart and soul because of this experience, the creation process, performing it in several different places and times. The performance itself does live on YouTube. I will link to it in the show notes. Please go give a watch. It's one of my favorite things, uh, to revisit from time to time. Anyways, Sean and I, once the piece was completed, drove to Vegas to perform it. Question mark. I don't <laugh>, I don't fully remember like the, the, the pretense there. I don't remember where we invited to perform. Was there a show? Was it a competition? I don't, I don't fully remember, but I do remember driving to Vegas in Sean's mini Cooper and I was like fascinated with all the cool lights and they changed colors and that was great. Um, but this was definitely our first like extended period of time together, just us without like being dancing and talking about dance. So we were seated in talking about dance and I I really What year was that? I'm gonna find out for you guys. Hold on one second cuz this is important.
Oh my goodness. Yeah. Wow. 12 freaking years ago. So I was 24. I remember at that time really being focused on freestyle as an area of weakness in my dancing, uh, at the studio I grew up at. We trained in many, many, many styles, but we didn't train at freestyle. Freestyle was the thing we did before the combo started and after the combo ended and we pretty much left it there. And, um, I really wanted to get better at this. So I was talking to Sean, who like freestyle is the backbone of his practice, of his relationship with dance. So I thought he would be a per perfect person to shed some light on that and he really was. PS I am going to link to Sean REOs episode of the Words That Move Me Podcast because it's so great. Can't believe I didn't say that sooner, but here we are winging it.
Um, anyways, I was asking Sean, like, what, what do you focus on? What's your philosophy? I felt such a tremendous pressure to look cool from all angles, for all the eyeballs, which usually freestyle in a circle that's like 360 degrees of eyeballs and infinity pressure that was coming entirely from my own mind to be cool and hit alt the beats and do new moves. Um, and I just, I felt this tremendous pressure was stifling. So I was like, Sean, what is your philosophy? How do you get past that? Do you even think about that? What are you thinking while you are dancing? And he was like, oh, just show and prove. And I was like, come again. Show. What was that Scooby-Doo? What, what did you say? And he was like, show and prove. That's, that is what freestyle is. Freestyle dance is showing your skills and proving that you love it.
And my little tiny mind blew right out the window of that little tiny mini Cooper because that was such a revelation for me. I thought you had to do all the things, hit all the accents, please all the people. And it turns out all you have to do is these two things. Show your skills and prove that you like it. I mean, come on. Now, certainly at that point I had some skills, right? I've been in dance class since I was three. I took more dance class. I really truly would love to know that number. I've taken so many dance classes, y'all, it's insane. I better be as good as I am, <laugh> after all the classes that I've taken. I have skills and I have tremendous passion for this. I have a huge love for dance and a huge love to love of being dancing.
It seemed to really simplify this for me. Show skills, prove love is something I could do. It felt so feasible. And from that point on, I have found great freedom in my freestyle. So if this entire podcast was only meant to share that one thing with you, then work. I hope that this, that this thought, this concept of show improve within your freestyle is useful for you because it was absolutely critical for me in my journey as a dancer and as a journey as an artist, finding a voice for myself, finding freedom, finding permission, um, and getting rid of a lot of expectation certainly helped me to do that. So focusing on those two things. But what I would like to introduce today, <laugh>, is that the concept of show and prove is applicable far outside of a freestyle circle. I talk about it a lot when I talk about auditioning, right?
You have two objectives when you are in the room, you show your skills, you prove that you can do the job. Are you the person for the job? Maybe, maybe not. That's usually up to someone else, but you can show your skills and prove that you can do this work. So that is a kind of more obvious, and I have talked about that before, um, application of the concept of show improve. But I think it's important to talk about this here at the top of the year. A lot of people are jumping on the new year with new energy and a great list of things that they're gonna do. And that certainly can work, right? Having a lot of energy, having a list of things to do. You can do it like you can think thoughts that get you feeling, things that get you doing things that get you through that list of things to do.
But what if you only had two things on your to-do list today? What if all you had to do was show your talent whether that talent is doing your laundry <laugh> or, you know, taking a dance class or performing a show or getting through a, a piece of music that you're trying to master raises hand right here, you guys, it is my goal to be able to sing a song on my birthday. And for those of you that have been listening for a long time, I had vocal cord surgery last year. My voice is a, um, uh, emotionally loaded kind of place of work for me. So I'm really excited about that, that, um, whatever it is that you are doing today, perhaps the first thing you show up to that task with is skill. And even, even if that skill is not high, right? Like I mentioned earlier, I've been dancing since I was three.
I better have skills. You might be listening thinking, I only started dance two years ago, or I've only been choreographing for, you know, one year, or this is my first time choreographing. I don't think it's essential that you have a lot of skills. I think it's essential that you show, you demonstrate even only to yourself the skills that you have. Let that be a mile marker for you to return to someday and be like, wow, look how much I have grown. The skill marks where you're at today, the skill is not intended to mark the greatest person. Whoever attempted laundry or freestyle or whatever it is that your task is, it's simply a marker of where you're at today. So try to market accurately by showing where you're at today as fully as possible. Show your full skills and prove that you love it. Now here's what's up.
I know you don't love doing laundry and I know that you don't love auditioning, perhaps. I know some people do. I'm always marvel at those people. <laugh>. Um, like anyways, auditions another episode. Stay focused. Stay focused. This is me focusing on show and proof <laugh>. Um, there are people who really love auditioning, but for some of the more mundane tasks, you might not find love for that task, but certainly you can find love for being alive in your body. You can find love for the ways that your arms move and the way that fabric feels. You can find ways for, uh, ways to love the way the sky looks while you're driving somewhere. You can find ways to love. I mean y'all, it's love is always an option. And when you focus on that as an option, the skill shows up with so much space to breathe and play and grow.
So the skill actually increases over time. The more you love, the more you show, the more skills you have to show, the more you love it. It is such an awesome and momentous cycle, this whole thing. So think just for a a hot second about the areas of your life where you hope to find growth this year. And imagine what it would look like to show your skills when you show up and prove that you love it. Just imagine what doing that task would look like using show and improve. That might be auditioning, that might be starting a new program, right? That might be starting a new convention. What would starting a convention look like? Showing skills and proving love. What would sitting at a meeting and pitching a new idea, what would that look like with show and proof? I want you to take a hot second, just 30 seconds and imagine whatever, whatever is on your list of things to do today or on your big big list of things to do this year and visualize it with show and proof. Do it. I'll be right back.
So show and improve in a freestyle circle. Looks like you show your dance skills, you prove how much you love it, show and improve outside of the circle looks the same, right? You show your skills for the thing, you prove that you love it. And this is why this tool is so useful. Kind of reminds me a little bit of one of my other two word super skills, which is yes. And we talk about this a lot in the seaweed sisters episode. Yes. And is a part of our philosophy for creation. Um, and I remember having a conversation with my agent about it once and he was like, oh, that is a very useful tool in business as well. Agree to the thing and set the terms. Um, yes, and really showed up in the creative process for collaboration by building off of stuff, which is really important when you need to make a a big thing fast <laugh>.
And in our industry that happens, oh so often. So yes and helps in the building process and in the collaboration process. Um, and I think that show and improve has a really similar way of exponentially building something, building something with speed and with freedom. And I, I cannot imagine two better things to be building with in our industry than those two things. Um, of course somebody along the way will come in and say, no, but <laugh> and that's okay. I think the word no is a lot easier to to hear when you are proving the love of the thing. Um, proving love of thing versus trying to prove yourself to someone. I think that's the critical difference. Like showing skills is what it is. But like proving myself to the world means that I have to consider the entire world and what they think about me.
And when you're in the middle of a circle, having a relationship with music and your body, that's a whole lot to consider. I don't think there's time for that. I just, I'm gonna take that off the table right now. <laugh>, at least for myself. You can decide if while you're in the circle, you would like to consider what the entire world thinks of you. But that's a little heavy for me. So when I consider proving myself to the world, when I think that thought I have to prove myself to the world, I feel tremendous pressure when I think I have to prove my love of this thing to myself.
Speaker 0 00:18:06 Big dramatic pause, you guys, that's like, it's not only simple but profound, so powerful. Um, and I really, I I'm excited to be using this concept of show improve in areas of my life outside of dance. Um, this year I plan it to be on set a lot more. And I think under the tremendous pressure of set life, which is not so different from like the pressure of the entire world liking you cuz you have the pressure of your bosses liking you, the pressure of the audience, which is sometimes the entire world. But thinking that way again, creates pressure. Pressure does sometimes create diamonds, but what it does to me in my physical body is, um, a bit of a shutdown. And because my job is to create movement thinking thoughts that make me physically shut down is not so useful to me. So I'm really excited to bring show skill and prove love with me on set.
I'm excited to bring it with me into meetings. I'm excited to bring it with me into coaching. I'm excited to bring it with me here into the podcast. Um, so this has been <laugh> how many minutes? Oh, look at that. A little over 20 minutes. I I'll take it. This has been 20 minutes of me showing to you that I have some skill as a speaker, as a guide, as a host, and proving to you and to myself, most importantly to myself that I love it. I really do. I am standing here in this little foam, um, trifold thing. It's not little, actually. It's much taller than I am. Um, and it's about the length of my arms, which are longer than I am. Fun fact, fun fact here at the end of the episode, have you ever, uh, looked up your APE index? The ape index is the ratio of arm length to body height.
And apparently anatomically a, a perfectly proportioned heavy air quotes on perfect, um, perfectly proportioned human will be as tall as their arms are long. My arms are a good three inches taller than I am. Like when I'm standing in a t if you measured from middle fingertip to middle fingertip, my arms are like five, six. But Dana Wilson from head to toe tip is five three. Um, so just now, you know, um, anyways, I'm in this booth. I am, I have some photos up in front of me of people that I love talking to. One of them is my young self. And, um, I do, I love doing this. And if you listen to last week's episode, you know that I'm focusing on my time budget with the podcast. I love with everything. I love to be prepared notes on notes on research, on preparation.
I could get stuck in the pre-production phase. You better come pull me out of it and say, Dana, it is show mode. Let's go. Because this is just, it's an area of work that I really love anyways. I am focused, I am committed to creating time for other things that I love. And today that meant zero prep for this episode. Tell me what you think. Did you learn? Did you love? Um, even if you didn't, I'm glad that this happened. It was an excellent exercise in show improve and I hope you take that tool out there into the world, show your skill, prove your love, and of course, keep it very funky. I'll talk to you soon.
Outro: This podcast was produced by me with the help of many music by Max Winnie, logo and brand design by Bree Reetz, and big thanks to Riley Higgins, our executive assistant and editor also massive, thanks to you. The mover, who is no stranger to taking action. So go take action.
I will not cannot stop you from downloading episodes or leaving a review into rating. I will not ban you from my online store for spending your hard earned money on the cool merch and awesome programs that await you. There. I will. 100% not stop you from visiting wordsthatmoveme.com. If you wanna talk with me, work with me and make moves with the rest of the words that move me community. Oh, and also I will not stop you from visiting thedanawilson.com. If you're curious about all the things that I do that are not words that move me related. all right, my friend, keep it funky. I'll talk to you soon.