Dancer Wellness: Stay in Love with Dance

I am writing this article for several different audiences out there: for those dancers who are burned out, lack luster, and “over it;” for people who danced “before” and haven’t put those shoes on for “a long time;” for those dance dreamers who wished they “could’ve” but “couldn’t.” Maybe you’re injured and can’t get out on the dance floor? Here’s the jist – you need inspiration. And just in case you’re reading this and you’ve got your inspiration meter turned way up, keep the following tips in your back pocket in case there’s a need for you or a person you know to reconnect in.

You’re a mover, so move!!!

Yes all of you! Movement is your key expression outlet. It’s how you know yourself in the world, so it’s also your inlet. You can’t put this aside forever. Face up to it and own it! Here’s some ideas on how:
Obviously there are classes – in a studio or even your gym may have a movement based group thing going on. You can clear out an open space in your house, or even rent a small stage, studio, friend’s loft, and go for it on your own. Get that playlist together and work it! If you have no idea what to do, bring your laptop and use YouTube as your inspiration. Learn the solo that won last season’s So You Think You Can Dance finale, or dance along with your favorite scene from Mamma Mia. For the burned out gang – dance for yourself by doing/discovering your own movement. Or make a change like moving in a different style, or setting.
At the very least, get on an elliptical machine, jog, swim, bike, play – anything with physical demand. Your body needs you, and you need your body!

Wear a different dance hat

There are many, many different ways to stay involved with the dance world. Take a few minutes to assess your skill set, your interests and your dislikes, and expand the way you can engage yourself. Here are some ideas:
– Design: props, costumes, lighting, sound, musical scores
– Support: volunteer, donate, marketing and public relations, fundraising, bookkeeping, administrative tasks, management
– Creative Reroute: direct, choreograph, design, write, photograph, video, teach

Get some perspective

Reading biographies is an amazing way to gain perspective and relativity. The story of someone else’s journey can speak volumes to our own experiences and shed light on our personal truths. There are so many out there too! From Martha Graham and Shirley MacLaine, to Frida Kahlo, Nelson Mandela, James Brown, Tina Fey, Gordon Ramsey, and beyond.

Another way to get some perspective and support is through your community. Maybe a former mentor or teacher, a colleague or sibling, can join you in your inspiration finding. What’s kept them moving or helped them regain their motivation? Ask and find out!

Tune in and turn it up

Take the time to set up your jams. You know what I’m talking about. The tunes that take you over, that turn your mind off, and transport you into pure movement expression. We all have them. Set aside those CD’s or pull together a playlist. Whether you are cleaning your house, cooking dinner, sitting in traffic, just got done with a 4 hour rehearsal, or have pushed your couch out of the way to make a dance floor – find yourself as often as possible by pushing PLAY on your inspiration soundtrack. (The same applies to video clips, websites, movies, etc.)
Take the “why” out of it and turn it up!

Movement has moved you. Own it, and treat it as the sacred, sweet, precious gift that it is.

Happy dancing!