An individual changes in multiple ways, on all three levels – physical, emotional and mental, after becoming a dancer. Below listed are a few things that transform their personalities, ways of thinking and lifestyle.
The transition of a dancer from a non- dancer to a professional dancer is as cosmic and colossal as the transition of an economy from a socialist to a capitalist one. By becoming a dancer, one chooses a career path which is full of uncertainty and requires not only talent but hard work, dedication and perseverance. This transition brings a myriad of changes. One’s mind opens up along with their bodies, their self-esteem improves, they become comfortable within their own skin and become body- workers. They learn to acknowledge constructive criticisms, be punctual, accept mistakes and welcome change. They go through a transformation that changes them for the better.
Establishing a Dance Company
Starting one’s own company can be daunting as it requires one to think of a plan, a budget, expenses and income, organization structure, analyze competition, marketing and so on. However, this journey of establishing one’s own company makes a person grow immensely. Starting a company is like having a child whom you prioritize over a lot of things in your life, spend sleepless nights taking care of and love more than yourself. You want for your child to excel and be successful in life and so you work hard to achieve your short-term goals and your long term dreams.
Acting and Character Roles
As a dancer, you must have heard phrases like ‘zone in’, ‘get into the character’, ‘stay in character’ on numerous occasions. Characterization in dancing refers to representation or portrayal of a character or a certain personality, mood or story. Suppose you have to become a cat for a piece. You can’t fake it or pretend to be a cat. You have to be a cat. Acting or playing a character bridges the gap between the dance and the audience. The audience feels the dance only if the performer does justice to the character. Characterization is equally important as technique or training because one might be a great dancer but it takes characterization and acting to become a great performer.
Teaching requires innumerable skills such as leadership, patience, selflessness, confidence, experience and a countless more. By taking dance classes, one acquires the skill of communicating precisely what one is thinking and comes out of his/her shell. A teacher not only gets out the best in their students but also reinforces the belief that they can do more and better. Instructors also never grow old because they’re always in touch with the younger generation and learn a lot from them as well.
Mind - Body Practices
Physiology and psychology are interrelated and interdependent disciples that have always talked about mind – body connections. In fact, dance/ movement therapy is a field entirely dedicated to the strengthening of the connection between the body and the mind. As dancers, we are constantly pushing our bodies to be stronger, more resilient, agile and functional, however, at the same time we are also expanding the boundaries set in our minds and constantly pushing and testing our mental limits along with the physical ones.
Becoming a Body Worker
Dancers become body workers when they acquire a certain lifestyle that involves regular exercise, healthy and well- balanced, nutritious diet, drinking plenty of water and basically, staying fit. After getting a countless number of bruises and blisters and even minor or major injuries, one learns to take care of their body and avoid injuries by being more cautious.
Writing and Criticism
Dancers learn to communicate and express their thoughts, feelings and emotions through movement. In the process of expressing themselves non- verbally, at times they acquire the art of expression through the non- verbal means of writing. This can be seen as a transition from a fluid- like movement of a limb to a fluid stroke of the ink on a piece of paper. Dancing enhances an individual’s thinking in terms of creativity and divergence. Thus, dancers also become efficient and creative writers.
Criticism is inevitable in every field of life. Dancers also learn how to take constructive criticism in order to improve and grow. However, taking criticisms too seriously and downplaying one’s achievements can result in negative thoughts and feelings that must be eradicated.
Dancing changes an individual completely. It makes shy people come out of their cocoons and learn how to fly. It gives those who find it hard to express themselves verbally, a means to communicate without speaking. It opens up people’s mind and allows them to think out of the box. It transforms them for the better.