By: Gabriela Yareliz

I have had this on my mind, lately; this idea of boxes. No, before you ask, I am not moving.

The truth is, there is always a box in every career that you are expected to fit into. There is a set rubric and technique that you need to comply with, to do well.

I saw this in journalism school, where they wanted everyone to basically sound the same. I saw this in law, where there is this checklist you need to check off and sell your soul for.

I know that to learn something, you need to get the basics down, and rubrics help with this. I know we need a measuring standard, but boxes can be tough on those of us who don’t fit into them, in the long run.

I love Dancing With the Stars. I like dancing, and I LOVE storytelling, so what is not to love?

Recently, people were shocked at the fact that Juan Pablo, a contestant with perfect scores and at the top of the leaderboard, was sent home.

His routines were perfect. There were times when we didn’t know who was the pro and who was the celebrity. He checked off every box.

His pro said something along the lines of, “I guess people want to see someone with two left feet become a dancer” in one of those post-elimination interviews. Maybe, we do.

I really don’t think they were eliminated because people “forgot” to vote because they were “so good”, as they insinuated. To be honest, I think his perfection bored us all. I know it bored me. And confirmed by their post-elimination interview was this impression the couple gave off of slight arrogance.

He is a great dancer. I am not taking anything away from him. Juan Pablo was perfection, but I prefer some of the other, dancers on the show. (See Bobby Bones).

See, the box here is the rubric with which the judges come up with their scores.

My point is that I realized that staying in the box and perfection and adherence to an arbitrary and commonly recognized standard is a high score, but it doesn’t make people feel things. Fitting into a box can also lead to arrogance and complacency.

I vote for the dancer who inspires me and makes me feel something. Perfection doesn’t always make people feel things– vulnerability does.

I want to live outside of the box. How we live is art. I may not get a perfect score in my art or craft, but I want to make people see the real me. I want to be vulnerable. At the end of the day, I don’t want to make people remember my perfect score or perfect grade, I want them to remember me and the fact that I got up every day and gave it my all. I want them to remember how I made them feel.

You can keep your ten, if it means you will cry with me. This is true art, in every field, in every way.

Published by Gabriela Yareliz

Gabriela is a writer, editor and attorney. She loves the art of storytelling, and she is based in NYC.

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