I Learned to Solve all my Interior Design Problems by Dancing- Be Brave

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It is a good quality to have, in dancing,  design, and life.

Often, we are afraid to put ourselves out there and be who we really are for fear others will judge us.

Guess what? They will judge us no matter what we do. It is human nature to make meaning of everything.  So, why give others the power to control how we live?

Be yourself. Be brave. Let your uniqueness shine through in your dance or design. It is a beautiful gift you give to yourself and others.

And, bravery makes the magic happen. Read on to learn how.

I learned to solve all my Interior Design Problems by Dancing- Be Brave

I learned to solve all my Interior Design problems by dancing. This is Part 4 on my revelations from dancing on how to create your perfect space.

The older I get, the more I realize the connections between all things artistic. The same principles apply to making the magic happen in Interior Design or any other art form. You just need to open your eyes, listen, and feel it to notice.

It always seems to come back to the alignment between art (creativity), science (color), and energy (connection) that makes the magic happen. I use this alignment to create beautiful dance pieces and interiors.

Learn more in my other three articles:

I Learned to Solve all My Interior Design Problems by Dancing- Create Drama with Shapes.

I Learned to Solve all My Interior Design Problems by Dancing- Create Drama with a Focal Point.

I Learned to Solve all My Interior Design Problems by Dancing.

Why Bravery Matters

As a dancer, I regularly have to be brave.

Every time I go out to perform, I have to face the inevitable stage fright. Will they like my dance choreography? Will they be bored?  Will I screw up and forget what I am doing? Will I get dizzy when whirling and fall? Will I drop the sword I am supposed to balance on my head? Will it land on my foot? OMG, that would be bad. Will I have a costume malfunction where something falls off, rips, does not work etc. (and yes, my worse nightmares have happened).  Will the lights be blinding so I can’t see what I am doing? On and on and on.

And then, guess what? I think, get over yourself.

It is not about you. It is about giving a gift to the audience for them to enjoy. I hope they do. They do not want me to fail, they want to have a good time. Stop thinking about yourself. Get out of your head. Tell the monkeys to stop their endless chatter.

And you know what? That is what opens the door to the magic happening. That thing between you and the audience. The connection where they feel the story, feel like they are dancing with you in your body, they want to laugh or cry or become someone new. You feel their energy and your dancing is better for it. They feel your energy and their life is better for it. 

In the middle east, they call it “tarab”.  It is hard to translate in western words, but it means something like being overcome by the music or performance and experiencing emotional transformation.

If you have experienced it as a dancer or observer, you know what I mean.

But it only happens if you are brave.

Get out there and do your thing and get out of your head. Let the alignment of who you are and what you bring to the world shine through, without fear.

Bravery in dance can lead to tarab, or emotional transformation of yourself and your audience.

I Learned to Solve All My Interior Design Problems by Dancing- Be Brave
Simorgh Dance Company- Anchorage

I remember this moment in particular as one of bravery. The Persian dance company I was the Assistant Director for was to be the opening act at an event that was for President Obama’s visit to Anchorage several years ago.

We walked out on stage beforehand to check it out, before the performance. And holy cow, looking at the stadium…there are a lot of seats out there! What was I thinking? OMG. Breath in, Breath out. It will be fine. And it was.

I Learned to Solve All My Interior Design Problems by Dancing- Be Brave
Simorgh, backstage waiting to perform for President Obama.

Be brave and tell your story in your dance or your room. Let who you are shine through. Who cares what anyone else thinks. That is none of your business.

I learned to solve all my Interior Design Problems by Dancing- Be Brave

Be Brave in Your Space

I take my lesson of bravery into my design world and how I create the magic for people in their spaces. I hope these thoughts will help you open your mind to possibility!

Many people are afraid when it comes to designing their homes, especially when it comes to color.

They play it safe and go neutral, fearing that using color will be “too much” of something.

They pick designs off Pinterest that tell someone else’s story.

Many do not really know what they like so they pick what others tell them they should like.

They design their home by a committee from the opinions of friends and family.

Why not just tell your own story? The important thing is that you walk through your space every day and think “Wow, I love this”. Breathe in, Breathe out. Joy.

Take a chance and try something new. A new approach, a new style, new colors.


You can always change your mind later if you don’t like it or you evolve and want something new. 

An Example

As a designer, I am often asked to design in styles or colors that I would not pick for my own house or my personal taste. That’s OK, it is not about me, it is about you. But I do bring part of myself into your design. And hopefully, that makes it even better….the collaboration. It is like the tarab that happens between the performer and the audience.

My personal taste is more of a curated, elegant Global Style/Bohemian with rich jewel-tone colors, especially using blues, greens, and purple. I love bringing the outside in and creating sustainable designs that often include my own fractal art home decor.

For this article, I left my “comfort zone” and designed something totally out of my normal colors and style as an example for you to try something new without fear. Be brave. See what happens.

I started with a rug as an inspiration piece that I thought was interesting, even though not in the colors I normally pick. As a matter of fact, it is primarily orange, my least favorite color.  It evolved into a style that I am normally not drawn to (mid-century modern), but that the rug suggests.   I went with the flow and ended up with a wild color scheme of orange, purple, and an interesting green.  I tried a couple of different paint color ideas and liked both. It still has touches of Bohemian and uses my fractal art, so is still true to “me”.

 I love it! How about you? The point is, be brave. You do not know what will happen. Be open to it.

Bravery allows you to be open to creating the perfect space for you, which can support your personal transformation so you can live the life you dream of.

Bravery in the design or your space can support your personal transformation to becoming the person you dream of being and living the life you want. 

Get the Look

Here are some of the products I used in this design. Some contain affiliate links, meaning I may make a small commission for sharing with you at no additional cost to you.

Are You Ready to Create Your Perfect Space?

Are you ready to tell your unique story and find the alignment of art, science, and energy that makes you happy?  Let me help you take that trip to your perfect space in a Ferrari instead of a stagecoach. Try my Aligned Design consultation and let’s get started.

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I learned to solve all my Interior Design Problems by Dancing- Be Brave

By Mary Ann Benoit

President- Northern Lights Home Staging and Design Owner- Arctic Paradise Bed and Breakfast Artist- Stained Glass, Jewelry and Alcohol Ink Art Wildlife Biologist Director- Kaleido World Percussion and Dance Company Director- Tavus Dance Company of Alaska Lover of music, art, dance and animals.


  1. Love this post! Performing for the President’s visit really was brave and I think you are correct. Being brave with your interior does improve your design.

  2. I love the message in this post, Mary Ann. Thank you for reminding us to keep on being brave – in life, and in our relationship with our home.

  3. Brilliant! Bravery is so important. It is a gift that we are all unique, and the world NEEDS what each of us have to contribute! Having a home that reflects and recharges your uniqueness is essential!

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