Before You Lose Touch - Reconnecting With the Reason You Dance
There are three words I’ve said over and over again and I’ll continue to say until them until they stop being true: Dance. Is. Hard.
But it’s easy for dance to become more of a stressor in your life than a blessing. Were you marked poorly at your last competition? Do you feel overwhelmed in your partnership? Is your progression not fast enough? If any of these things have put you down in the dumps, there have probably been moments where you’ve doubted why you keep at it.
The question to ask yourself is exactly that: why do you dance? There’s not one correct answer. To be frank, you just need something real. Whether or not you have an honest answer to the question will determine how long you dance and how rewarding the process is. If dance is something where you just go through the motions because you don’t have anything better to do, this might not be the sport for you.
We need to safeguard against those moments of doubt and difficult times where you’re not sure if your heart is in it anymore. When times get tough, that doesn’t mean you should roll over and quit; you just need a reminder about why you’re here and what about dancing gets you excited.
So what is your reason? Maybe you love the applause and the attention you get from a cheering crowd. Maybe you’re an artistic type and love the opportunity dance gives you for expression. Maybe you just like winning. Whatever your reason is, take a moment to focus on it, as if you have to explain to somebody who had never danced before what exactly is so great about what you do.
Personally? I’m in love with DanceSport for the intimacy. Connecting with your partner, understanding their body, and trusting them to commit themselves to the moment you’re in as much as you do. This is something I wrote about in a little bit more depth in last month’s Sheer Dance, and doing so helps reconnect me to the incredible passion I have for this sport. It’s like writing yourself a letter: a persuasive piece about what dancing means to you so when you fall down, you can reconnect with your passion.
If you’re in dance for the long haul, I strongly recommend that you do the same. You don’t have to publish it anywhere and show anybody, but write yourself a personal letter about why you love partner dancing. Read it often, and use it to anchor yourself when your relationship with dance feels a little shakey. If you can stay connected with good, motivating reasons, in dance as in everything else, you’ll push harder and have a heck of a lot more fun doing it.
(Published in Sheer Dance magazine July 2019)