Something I realized recently is that most of the challenges I have studying dance have less to do with any actual styles or steps I’m learning and more to do with just dealing with my own shit.
The steps are simple, in a way. It’s clear to me that if I commit myself to learning a dance and I keep practicing, I will improve. This has happened before and it will happen again. So the easy thing would be to keep going to classes and blissing out to that fascinating process of gradually learning and mastering new steps, secure in the knowledge that I’ll keep improving and becoming a better dancer. This would be very fun!
My mind loves to fixate on what’s wrong.
I learned the steps of the choreography, but didn’t get the style right.
I’m so tight and inflexible that I can’t properly do all of these steps and I bet everyone thinks I’m old and pathetic.
Ugh, my teacher loooves that other dancer so much. Sigh. She should love her – she’s an awesome woman inside and out and I adore her too! I’m the one that sucks.
Sprinkled in with the joy and exhilaration of dance are so many other painful feelings: insecurity, jealousy, frustration, self-loathing, disappointment.
But there’s an upside to this. What dance illuminates, I can heal. If it weren’t for my dance classes, I wouldn’t necessarily get such stark reminders of how much I need to practice loving and accepting myself – being KIND to myself. When so much insecurity and jealousy comes up for me, I know that’s a part of myself that needs healing.
Dance truly does make me feel joyful and blissful. But it does more than that. When I’m open to looking at ALL of the feelings that come up when I dance – the good and the bad – that’s when dance transforms me.
Do you find that dance brings up joy and pain for you too? How does dance transform you? I’d love to hear from you – talk to me in the comments!