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The Gift of Dance – Through the Eyes of a Student #1

The Gift of Dance – Through the Eyes of a Student

          Ever since I was a little girl, dance has been a part of my life. Like many children whose parents enroll them in dance, I participated in group classes from an early age. From the first introduction of dance, I was mesmerized. It is as if the outside world evaporated and I was transported into lightness, beauty and sounds of music that wrapped me. This has never changed. It has only increased.

Dance is an art form that anyone at any age can enjoy. Regardless of skill and/or level, dance provides physical and emotional benefits that most other sports lack.

So, as you read this and wonder why I would want to write about The Gift of
Dance, think about the reasons why you decided to start dancing in the first place… what prompted you to take the first steps towards a journey of self awareness and enjoyment? Whatever the reason, the key is to remember what Dance provides you specifically. Whether dancing on your own or with someone special, we each are individuals with different sensations and awareness levels. We each need an outlet to enjoy our own ability to learn, create and participate in an activity that brings a smile to our face, a spring in our step and a sense of social participation and community.

Since you have started your dance journey, have you wondered how you can maximize this gift that you have given yourself? Do you sometimes forget that this is your gift? Do you get wrapped up in small nuances that may affect your outlook? Do you revel in the fullness of the discipline… or do you just go with flow? If you can relate to any of these questions, I would like to offer key tips on how to maximize your Dance Experience.

1. Have an open mind

Learning to dance is a discipline that can be overwhelming. Many of us start dancing as adults and have a sense of awkwardness at the beginning. Keeping an open mind by taking the information as taught, is key to learning to dance at a pace that you can enjoy and advance. Trust that your teachers understand the material and can provide you with the information at your pace and in your best interest.

2. Set realistic expectations

This is difficult since most of us have high expectations in this world we live in … especially for ourselves. Remember, this is not what you do for a living; this is what you have chosen to do to better your overall well-being. You want to make sure that you set yourself up to succeed. Become aware of your strengths and areas you want to work on; communicate those goals and work towards accomplishing.

3. Dont get caught up in the nuances…

Forget about everyone else and what they are doing… I have found that it takes a good deal of energy to look at what everyone else is doing. Enjoy your journey based on what you want to get out of it rather than paying attention to what someone else is working on. It only takes time away from your program. It does not mean that you will not enjoy watching and having fun interacting with others, but it means that your focus will solely be on yourself so that you can reap the benefits of your program and your hard work.

4. Communication

Understanding your needs and being able to communicate is essential to enjoying your program. It does not mean that you cannot change your mind or your situation, but it does mean that you are an active participant in your development and enjoyment of dance. I have found that it is much easier to get to the nuts and bolts of what I am working towards and gives me far more pleasure.

5. Smile and have the Time of your Life!

Most of us will not go on to be pro-dancers… so let’s enjoy the ride… Dance is about lifting your spirit, softening your heart and giving you confidence and joy over time. It has an immediate addictive quality (as we all know…). Use the time with your teachers and peers to enjoy the atmosphere, relaxing environment and an oasis you rarely find elsewhere. I almost never see people dancing upset… it happens, but usually because they are have forgotten the gift they have given themselves.

See you all on the dance floor!! Sandy

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