Martha Graham said "Great dancers are great because of their passion, and not because of technique"
We are all here because of our genuine love for the beautiful art of dance, it’s a form of self expression for some and a form of release for some .We might be divided by different techniques, form, music, clothing but we all unite on our passion .
But can you think of that moment when you decided this is it, dance has been my passion for long but now I am going to turn it into a profession, a career, a lifestyle.
When we thought of turning it into a career, we were advised to train more and get more knowledge about dance. We were also told to choose a particular dance form and then after the training decide which aspect of dance we want to be involved in- be it performance, choreography,teaching or a combination of either.
While we were told about so many positive things about choosing dance as a career, like not having to follow the monotonous life, being a creator, a chance of entertaining people while enjoying it ourselves but we weren't told a few important things which might have given us a better view of the world.
While dance is pure and all heart, the world surrounding it isn't, and making a career in dance means being an integral part of this world.
But here’s what we were not told:
Firstly, that knowing dance and loving dance isn't going to be enough, you should have a deep understanding of your body, your body should be able to withstand the tremendous hours of rehearsals and all the injuries that come across. Also, the pressure of being a certain body type to crack auditions, and constantly pushing your limits with your body, is something you have to be prepared for.
But you get better at it; with time your stamina increases with continuous effort and your body adapts to your hectic schedule by taking care of your diet, keeping yourself hydrated and understanding when to rest your body.
Secondly, the competition in the dance world can be hectic. While the love for the art stands apart you will constantly have to deal with mental pressure of being updated and keeping up with your fellow dancers. There is also a lot of politics involved when it comes to taking part in a reality show or choreographing for movies. Your contacts and the way you behave with people actually works more than your talent at times. So even though dance makes you happy, it might cause a lot of mental turmoil at times .
So the best way to deal with it is mindfulness and being patient, which comes through practicing yoga and meditation. Take out time to relax, breathe, stretch and have other hobbies as well.
Thirdly, your skills, your talent will speak but in this modern world what speaks the most is your ability to market yourself. Be it on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook or a popular YouTube channel or your own website. Because you will be judged by the number of followers and your popularity on TV .So marketing skills need to be an add on along with dancing skills.
Although, it can be difficult for a not so social person, do not discount the fruits of your hard work. If you are consistent with your hardwork and innovative with your art you will get noticed just by your dancing talent.
Fourthly, facing the society can be difficult at times as being a dancer is not very acceptable as a profession. Some look down upon it and treat it with disrespect, it can be tough to stand up for yourself. But while listening to those harsh comments of your relatives and people asking you to follow the norm, you have to hold your own high and stay strong with your decision. If your friends and family don’t support you, find someone in the dance community a trainer, fellow mate or someone with the same passion.
Stay confident about your decision and have faith in yourself.
And lastly, artists do not lead the most luxurious lives especially in the beginning. There will be times when you will have to sign up for things you didn't want to just to pay your bills. After all, most people want you to work for them but in return of exposure instead of money. This also makes it difficult to further train yourself at better places as you cannot afford the education. There will be times when you will be running out of cash while your friends from a corporate job will be settling down.
So plan well, figure out what’s important to spend on and what is not. Take up some work just to pay your bills but remember nothing is more important than your integrity and self respect.
You never really hear these things out loud, and these and many more hurdles arrive in your journey of dance, but as Martha Graham said "It's only your passion that keeps you going, not the followers or the technique or any amount of money".
So, I hope you still choose dance, because no matter how frustrated or tired you are, it is only Dance that will be able to heal you!
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