HomeDanceSupporting connection over comparability - Dance Informa Journal

Supporting connection over comparability – Dance Informa Journal

A few of my earliest recollections from my formal dance schooling are of watching the “mannequin” scholar stand within the entrance of the category and reveal easy methods to execute (enter stated ability). With out realizing it on the time, this habits, whereas making an attempt to help schooling and ability constructing, really created an unhealthy environment for comparability. I’d spend the subsequent 20 years both evaluating myself to the “finest” scholar or striving to be one of the best scholar who showcased all the pieces, which didn’t occur fairly often. This usually left me feeling insufficient, annoyed and dissatisfied. 

A few of you studying this can be nodding alongside. It’s not an unusual follow, particularly in dance to check and distinction ourselves with our friends. Whereas it may foster wholesome competitors and encourage college students to work towards a objective, enhance expertise and obtain a larger degree of efficiency, it may additionally result in unhealthy behaviors that may hurt a dancer’s psychological and bodily well being. This could lend itself to comparability of issues past expertise like physique picture and aesthetics. 

I don’t consider any of us bought into the sphere of dance or grew to become dancers to satisfy an inconceivable normal or to be anybody else however ourselves. And but, someplace alongside the road between our first ballet sneakers and our first job audition or class lecture, we discover ourselves being extra involved with how we measure as much as others than how genuine we’re in our personal physique. This tradition of competitors over connection has deep roots within the dance neighborhood and nicely, the humanities on a broader scale. Comparability shouldn’t be all dangerous, however it may result in harmful outcomes if not correctly cultivated and managed. There are various methods educators can foster connection over comparability and for particular person dancers to maintain their want to check in examine. 

For educators:

Help scholar’s individuality by specializing in strengths.

Supply constructive suggestions whereas additionally mentioning an accomplishment.

Facilitate mentorship over competitors or comparability.

Encourage extra superior dancers to maneuver with much less skilled or novice dancers.

Create area for all our bodies and skills within the dance studio.

For college kids:

Deal with strengths outdoors of the studio to help confidence and vanity.

Ask extra skilled dancers for recommendation or help on expertise you want to strengthen.

Discover alternatives to bop with folks with totally different lived experiences from your personal.

Discover a confidant or mentor who fashions connection and collaboration, not simply competitors.

Attain out for skilled help that prioritizes your psychological and bodily well being.

Moreover, there are steps you may take to strengthen connection on a physique degree via mild easy motion practices. Because of the mind-body connection, this can assist help and problem ideas and habits related to comparability and competitors. Listed below are 5 motion practices to help connection over comparability.

#1. Discover your backbone.

The backbone encapsulates your self-awareness. Participating the backbone in any and all motion doable help id formation, self-awareness, and connection to our personal want, concepts and values. This lets you honor and focus by yourself values, strengths and skills ideally with out judgement.

#2. Hook up with your pelvis.

The pelvic area of the physique is related to feeling rooted and grounded which facilitates connection to self as nicely. Really feel the burden of your physique as you shift or rock your hips. Strive on totally different rhythms. Or just sit and breathe into your decrease stomach and again.

#3. Discover your steadiness.

Play along with your middle of gravity. Problem your steadiness and discover alternatives to regain or discover your steadiness from a place of instability. This reinforces your capacity to face by yourself two toes, stand your floor, and rise up for your self and your wants.

#4. Embrace the push and pull.

Interact in actions that concentrate on pushing away or pulling into the physique. This helps exploration of non-public boundaries which are sometimes compromised when comparability and competitors are prioritized. Discover the oscillation between the 2 polarities, discovering the center floor as a possibility to attach and acknowledge your particular person wants and strengths.

#5. Decelerate to examine in.

It’s critical to decelerate your actions with a purpose to create time and area to acknowledge your emotional and bodily wants. Competitors and comparability has the power to hurry us up whereas we attempt to “sustain” with these round us who we see as “higher” or extra expert. Dashing up will solely lend itself to damage and burnout. Even taking a couple of minutes a day to decelerate and examine in along with your feelings, emotions and ideas can have a huge effect in your capacity to hook up with your self.

Most significantly, turn out to be conscious of your have to compete or examine your self to others. This can create a baseline for the place you’re in your journey. It’s critical to acknowledge the place you at present are on this course of with a purpose to assess the place you wish to be. Observe compassion over judgment, as this can be a brand new course of and can take time to re-pattern within the physique and thoughts.

By Erica Hornthal, LCPC, BC-DMT, Dance/Motion Therapist, Chicago Dance Remedy.

Erica Hornthal, often called “The Therapist Who Strikes You,” is a board-certified dance/motion therapist and licensed medical skilled counselor. She is the founder and CEO of Chicago Dance Remedy and the creator of Physique Conscious: Rediscover Your Thoughts-Physique Connection, Cease Feeling Caught, and Enhance Your Psychological Well being via Easy Motion Practices.



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