Finding the motivation to dance has been such a struggle for me these past few months. Although it may not seem like it from my posts on Instagram, getting up and heading to the studio sometimes is still such a drag for me. A lot has been going on in life lately (and I can’t be selfish, I know we are all busy) and sometimes I am honestly discouraged. Granted that I am in a pretty fixed routine again, that drive to dance just is not the same.
Honestly, quarantine got me pretty lazy, but I found new outlets to stay active. I ran every day, exercised, and even got certified to teach barre (which I will be starting soon)!! Part of me just stopped prioritizing dance as a whole… I feel like I am at a standstill with my dance career, but other opportunities are sparking my interests and many doors are opening. I am just at a point in my life where I am constantly trying new things (which is always good) and finding what I like versus what I don’t like. My time is dedicated to other things while putting some on pause, and I am okay with it for now.
Part of me feels discouraged simply because I am taking all of my classes remotely- including my dance technique classes. My professors have done an amazing job at working and communicating with me which I will forever be grateful for because a month ago I felt hopeless with this situation. Now I am hopeful.
What I’ve Learned
I/we have learned how to properly adapt- which relates to one of my older blogs that dancers can do anything you tell them to. This semester has its challenges and I tackle them head-on.
Finding the motivation to dance has been one of those things where some mornings I am just not excited like I used to be, but once I start moving I feel like myself again. I miss Tampa and my dance family there, and that connectivity and love… but somehow I still feel that connectivity when I am many miles away and this is something that I value so much right now.
I think being online has been an obstacle for me but it also served as another factor to motivate me to try new things and find out how my body and brain work in ‘dance mode’ for these interesting and new situations. I am constantly discovering new ways to learn, pick up choreography, communicate, observe, and even teach!
Though the idea of dancing has not been driving me lately I am okay with it because I am learning other skills that have helped me to want to get up and dance and try new things with my body. It’s an interesting situation I am in and I am taking it day by day.
My passion is still there, but it’s there in different areas now and I think that this is something I need to really pay attention to as I am actively looking for my purpose with this art form and these talents I am blessed with. The light is shining on my strengths in different areas in dance right now and it is exciting to see the pieces come together bit by bit.
Dancers reading this, here are some of my recommendations to slowly finding that motivation again in your art:
1. Find videos of other people who inspire you
2. Look at old videos of yourself.
I always like to look back and see how I have improved in areas of my technique and performance quality. Ask yourself, “Where am I now?”
3. Teach/train yourself to be creative with limitations.
For me, this was space. During my Spring semester home, we were required to dance in limited spaces in order for us to find different movement qualities in our bodies. It’s somewhat frustrating, yet eye-opening to see how you can get so caught up in dancing in a spacious studio. How can you still dance and move differently in smaller areas? It’s a great challenge and has definitely diversified my movement style.
4. Explore new music.
This is an easy one. Discovering new music has inspired me to improv a little more confidently and to move freely. It has taught me to listen to my body better. I find myself enjoying improv more lately rather than fixed choreography.
5. Taking a break.
This is another easy one that is pretty obvious to me now… now that I know when I should take these breaks. Taking a break can sound messy and scary and intimidating, but it is quite relieving. Once you come back, you feel refreshed and rejuvenated to try new things to get back into the flow.
6. Go outside.
Especially during quarantine, this has helped me drastically. I even pushed myself to dance outside. In doing this, I discovered a new connection and peace I have with nature and God’s creations. It also pushed me to be more vulnerable with my choices of movement and where I decided to move. It has given me an extra bit of confidence when I dance now as well.
7. Observe online classes or explore other techniques or artists.
The dance industry took the online world in full force over these months. The number of classes and teachers available to you is right at your fingertips… you really just have to push a button! I took classes by Travis Wall this summer and even Mandy Moore! Two of my favorites. Though I couldn’t execute most of the dances to my best ability due to spacial limitations, I am just so inspired to be in their virtual presence, and hearing their feedback created so many different perspectives for me. So, whether you are just observing or moving to the class, I highly recommend this. It’s like a breath of fresh air and opens new windows of creativity that all dancers and artists are constantly seeking!