The Heart of the Matter

To reach your potential as a dancer you must have a heart for dance.  I don’t mean you must that you simply love to dance.  I mean that dance must be IN your heart – down in there so deep that you ache for the need of it in your life.  Without abandoning yourself to your heart’s desire for dance you will never develop the work ethic to improve.  You simply won’t have the motivation.

This is especially true when youfind yourself in a difficult period in your dance training.  If you are stuck in a negative place where you are disappointed in your progress, or you compare your abilities to others and feel you fall short, then you are going about dance all wrong.  You need to get back to the heart of the matter!  The heart must come FIRST, then the energy needed for the work will be there, then the improvement will come.  Some dancers use anger or frustration at themselves as fuel for forced improvement.  But this cannot be sustained and the quality of the resulting dance is low.

Let go of the habit of connecting your feelings to your accomplishments.  This makes your dancing conditions-based and you will never be satisfied.  If you turn dance into a pass-fail activity,  if you never rejoice in a moment of mastery, if you are always  looking ahead to what you cannot yet do, then you will have succeeded in sucking all the joy out of dance.

Instead follow this pattern to change your approach:

Reconnect   Rediscover   Redirect

Reconnect with your heart by getting out of your head.  Take a breath and allow yourself to feel  the emotions of the music.

Rediscover the joy in the simplest of movements.  Sway from side to side.  Do a few tendus, some port de bras.  Dance around like a child.    And smile!

Finally, redirect your energies.  Fuel your muscles with the positivity that comes from the joy in your heart.  Let your heart lead the way – the rest will follow!

photo credits:


© Lauran M. Callan and brilliantdance, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to  Lauran M. Callan and brilliantdance with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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