Dancing is not an easy profession to pursue, but it is certainly a satisfying one. It gives you back, whatever you invest in it. However, the journey is not free of hurdles. Dancers are often criticized for not having the so-called ideal body type. Some societies are not accepting of dancing as a profession. Despite everything, dancers have to learn how to believe in themselves and in their art.
These are a few questions that dancers may ask themselves when the going gets tough:
#1 AM I GOOD ENOUGH?
Self- doubt is an evil that creeps in, unwanted. Everyone likes to believe that they are good at what they do. But sometimes, one may feel like nothing is good enough. It might be due to a highly competitive environment or lack of social support. In order to realize how capable you are, you must ask yourself, ‘how far have you come from where you had started?’ and ‘what is good enough for you?’ What you consider to be good enough may not be the standard of good. Happiness does not come from being perfect. It comes from growth and working hard and seeing how much you have matured as an artist or a performer. You can always seek help from your mentors! They know better than anyone else how your body and mind has changed since you first started training. Positive affirmations can also help in changing attitude towards oneself.
#2 IS IT WORTH IT?
Dancers invest 10-12 hours a day to train their bodies. It gets exhausting, physically and mentally. You may ask yourself if investing so much time and energy into something is even worth it. But, growth is a gradual process. It doesn’t happen all of a sudden. Just like a caterpillar doesn’t grow wings and transform into a butterfly in a day, dancers can also not achieve their peak experiences of their career in a day. Whenever this question comes uninvited into your conscious awareness and you pay unnecessary attention to it, ask yourself why you started, what it would be like to stop doing something that you love, would it make you happier. Asking these questions would give you more clarity regarding what you want and help you arrive at a decision.
#3 AM I ASKING FOR TOO MUCH?
In some societies, performing arts as a profession is looked down upon and academic excellence is emphasized upon. Parents of some dancers may not be supportive of what they do. They may even ask them to give it up and take up a job that pays ‘well’. In those times, one must follow their heart. If you do something that you do not love, you will never be able to give your 100% and even if you do, it won’t make you happy. To avoid regretting and blaming someone else for making choices for you, you must make you own decisions.
#4 WHAT IF I DON’T MAKE IT?
Well, the simple answer to that is, if you don’t try, you’ll never know. Follow your heart. It is better to try and fail than give up before trying and later wonder what could have been. It is daunting. There are millions of people in the industry trying to make it as dancers. No one ever said it would be easy. But is it worth it? Yes! Working hard always pays off. If you are someone who is willing to work hard to achieve your goals and have the determination and motivation to succeed, then no one and nothing can stop you from becoming a successful dancer. Stop asking yourself ‘what if’ questions and make it happen.
#5 HOW MUCH DO I PUSH MYSELF?
As dancers, we constantly have to push mental and physical boundaries. From turning on the ball of the foot, to flying in the air; dancers do it all. However, we must learn to not push ourselves to an extent where we break. Injuries take a very long time to heal and for dancers, time is everything. One must train properly in order to avoid injuries and take care of their body. Bodies are instruments from which dancers create magic. It is necessary to not be so harsh on oneself and to learn to love their body. They must push themselves to expand their limits but never to the extent where they do irreparable damage to their own body or someone else’s.
Dancers, do you have any worries, doubts or questions that haunt you? Lighten your heart here, share with us how you are feeling and we will do our best to guide you!
Don’t be hard on yourself, and keep dancing!
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