Practicing

Don Baarns has a great post on the Unlikely Salsero about practicing which includes the lovely quote:

“If you find something doesn’t work when you’re with others, you simply haven’t practiced enough. Don’t get bothered, just practice some more and give it some time. Some things just take a little longer than we’d like…”

So, to answer Don’s question, what am I doing to “keep my attitude when something I practice doesn’t work in the short term”?

Increasingly I find myself saying ‘sod it’. Life is too short to be struggling and stressing over anything dance related. For example, attempting to learn a routine in a fast moving class after a long day at work when I’m already wound up like a spring leaves me feeling unhappy about myself and my dance abilities so why put myself through it?

This sounds like an extremely negative approach but I’ve found it quite empowering. Instead of thinking about how useless I am or beating myself up about how slowly I learn I simply acknowledge that now is not the right time for me to work this aspect of my dancing and that I might be better focusing on something else until the time is right.

At the moment I’m thinking a weekly yoga or pilates class where I can spend time learning how to control my body is going to benefit me more mentally and physically and offer a greater return on investment than another dance class. Nichelle from Dance Advantage has a nice quote about control and highlights an awesome video clip:

“Control in dance is having the power to direct or choose the way you move your body. You are in the driver’s seat when you can move in a way that looks wild and out of control without losing track of where your body is in space. You are in control when, instead of needing to come down from your double pirouette, you choose to land it (see a famous dancer make that choice after an undecuple pirouette – that’s 11 of ‘em – in this video).”

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