Dancing Outside Your Comfort Zone
Some say that life begins outside your comfort zone. I tend to think it begins when you dance outside of your comfort zone.
I believe that this applies to dancers and “not-yet-dancers” alike. Off the dance floor, we are often pushed to try new things, to not get too comfortable or complacent, to maybe taste new foods or meet new people. As far as hobbies go, I am an advocate for dance; it is sometimes the best discomfort you can get!
For those of you with some dance experience, this is a friendly reminder to keep growing in your craft. If you have achieved your dance goals, then go ahead and take yourself to that next level, where you aren’t just learning to dance, rather, you are learning the science behind it. Let’s say you have had anywhere between 10-15 lessons or more in a style of dance. Well then, be proud of your accomplishments, congratulate yourself on the hard work and time you put into getting that far, and move forward! There are layers upon layers of details in excelling in your dance, regardless of your level. Ask for help, get an outside opinion on your progress, and dance into new territory.
For those of you who haven’t danced before- there is no day but today! Most people that I teach usually tell me after a few lessons, “I have wanted to do this for years but just never got started,” or “I wish I would have started dancing sooner.” I have found in my years of teaching that when somebody says that they don’t like to dance, or that they don’t want to dance, it is often because either they are either afraid of how they will be judged by others, or that they simply don’t know what to do! (or both) First and foremost, to become successful on the dance floor, to a degree, we have to forget about what others think of us, because at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter- we are dancing for ourselves! Outside of competition, whether or not someone thinks you are a great dancer or not doesn’t and shouldn’t affect your desire to try. I call it the “whatever” state of mind; it should be a goal to reach a mental threshold while you dance to just let the chips fall where they may- mistakes or no mistakes, let judgement go for the minutes that you are dancing, and simply enjoy whatever your dancing is for that moment.
Second, like any other hobby or sport, dancing must be learned. If I want to learn to play tennis, I don’t just have a natural inclination or all the rules and the craft- I have to learn. Dancing is no different, and there seems to be an assumption that many people either are or are not good dancers. Well, I have news for you- take lessons and find out, instead of deeming yourself unworthy. This is where dancing outside of our comfort zones can open up a whole universe of possibility- for your mind, for your body, and most importantly, for your soul.