When I started dancing it wasn’t long until I started performing on a stage. I don’t know if it’s due to talent or because there weren’t a lot of great male dancers back then. Anyway, I quickly started to enjoy my time on stage. This was truly partly as a result of spending most of my life playing instruments in a music group and putting on shows. I therefore felt at home on a stage.
When I started performing, I was rarely satisfied after leaving the stage. I used to criticize myself a lot, thinking it was normal not to feel satisfied in order to continue to improve. At the end of a show, I highlighted every bad moment. In short, I was hammering myself without even noticing it.

I then had an experience that changed my perception of things. I had the chance to choreograph and dance a piece with my friend Audrey Gaussiran; to me she was – and still is – one of Montréal’s best salsa dancers. We performed our routine about ten times. As usual, from the very first performance, my old habits kicked back in; I was barely off of the stage that I was already obsessing with what went wrong. Not forgetting, above all, that I was afraid to make mistakes. I went on like this during 8 performances.
I knew we had 2 last performances before the end of our collaboration, and something magical happened on the 9th show. Just a few seconds before going on stage I told myself, “I’m very lucky to be dancing with a dancer of that caliber, and this time I’ll be dancing for her”. Well, this is one of the performances I remembered the most. During the choreography I felt not only connected to my partner, but also to the audience. This performance gave me shivers. As we were getting off of the stage we told each other how great it was. What had happened? At that moment the only difference was that I envisioned a positive intent, an intent that gave my performance a whole new meaning.

At the last performance, I tried again to see if it really works. I told myself I would show the audience how much I love dancing. It gave me the same results. I kept seeing smiles and reactions; I was truly in the moment. From that day on, I never stopped envisioning positive intents before going on stage. Sometimes it’s simple things like dancing for someone in particular, dancing for a cause, dancing with an attitude or embodying a character.
So give yourself a positive intent before starting something creative and you’ll see just where it will carry you.

How about you, any mistake you made that turn out to be a wonderful discovery? Share your story in the comments below !

Ilias – Baila Productions Salsa School