A few weeks ago, an old friend was sharing the barre in ballet class with me. This is someone who I thought of as not only extremely talented, but passionate and motivated especially as this young dancer was just starting out on the pathway to becoming a professional. I don’t know if school was too much but this dancer is back in town and man oh man, did not look like dance is particularly enjoyable anymore, no matter how fun and challenging class is/was. There are a few good clues that everyone can pay attention to that indicate when to quit dance, or at least when to stop dancing for a while.
Can’t you just always get that feeling when someone around is really unhappy and stressed? Unless you consistently ride the New York subway (where everyone is those two qualities) it can be pretty unsettling, I think, to see someone in that state- particularly a dance studio which is supposed to be a place of work but also passion and joy and creation. I think you can always spot a dancer that isn’t really having a good time in the moment and is maybe just forcing themselves to do it because maybe it used to be a source of joy and dancers get warped into thinking that if you can just be a better dancer it will bring you that same happiness. What a load of unhealthy bologna (like all bologna, then).
If dancing doesn’t bring you joy, then stop. Step away from it. Step away from it for as long as it takes to not feel pressured to go and until you actually want to be there. It won’t kill you. And if it does kill you, then go back!
If dancing is bringing you joy but you’re frustrated with yourself as a dancer (and guess who this little reminder is intended for…) and frustrated with outside things to the point that it’s clogging your ability to work and serve your gifts and passions, then deal with it! Fix it, ask for help, make necessary changes, and for heaven’s sake, stop letting the side things or internal bs get in the way of being actually happy. Taking pleasure in your work does not mean that the work isn’t being taken seriously, and you all know how much I insist upon being taken seriously. Just look at my excellent use of quotations.
“Dance for yourself. If someone else understands, good. If not, not matter. Go right on doing what interests you, and do it until it stops interesting you” -Louis Horst.
That’s it for now. I’m going to get several things out-of-the-way that should help bring me some peace of mind and lighten my stress load; they are:
Switching some job things up to find health benefits through a company- my taxes (boo paperwork!)- giving Avery a big hug and eating dinner.
It’s awful when our true feelings- if something is right or wrong or worth getting all fussy-pants over- get buried under a lot of things that certainly aren’t so crucial or controllable. It isn’t nice to experience or be around. No one likes a wet blanket! No more hiding. (If you look really hard, Avery is somewhere in this picture)
Come out and play! (it’s probably much more fun anyways) xo- Jess