Dance Expectations

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Again, I’m at a point where there are a whole lot of ideas floating just outside my reach.  As always, I’m attempting to find some grand truth when there really probably isn’t one.  Let’s see if I can string together something coherent.

I’ve read a whole lot of articles about various personality types.  Normally, they appear as lists and I can never tell if they are based on some real research or just the author’s personal observations about their life which they presume will apply to all who share the same personality type.

Having said that, there are times when things jump off those lists and give me little Eureka moments.  This one came from Introvert, Dear and it is old but sometimes you have to read something at the right time for it to truly have meaing.

INFPs live in a world of emotion and meaning. They need a certain level of emotional intensity in their life in order to feel like they are truly living. So INFPs may unconsciously seek out relationships that evoke strong feelings. Or they may turn to books, poetry, music, travel, or charity work that inspires them. However, if the passion or intrigue fades, INFPs may find themselves feeling restless. Dissatisfied, they may move on to another relationship or project that once again infuses their life with emotion.

Music and books can drive strong emotional responses.  With books, I can often put myself in the character and feel what they feel.  That has good and bad moments because some of the books I read put characters in really depressing situations and every time I read about someone trapped then I start thinking the same way and it can be a downer.  Music is the same way.  Certain singers just carry so much emotion in their voice that it impacts me.  It sounds strange but I can sometimes really put myself into a song and feel what that words are saying.

And it is important to note that music came before dance for me.  The funny thing is that there are days when I’ve had a bad lesson and I’m thinking of giving it up and a song comes on and I can imagine myself dancing and I just want to turn the car around and get back to the studio.

I’ve given you my favorite dance quote before.  And those moments during Showcases and comps when you are out there doing it for real and you just feel so alive are what has drawn me so strongly to dance.  There have been two people who tell me how much I “light up” when I’m on the floor or when people are watching so clearly I’m able to project what I feel inside.

But most lessons involve practice and repetition which are absolutely essential for success in dance.  You don’t just walk on the floor and do a routine the first time you are introduced to it.  It takes time and work to get the steps correct and locked into memory.  It takes time to get used to the music and to make the dance slow down.  It takes time to truly get into the character of the dance and do the little things that make a dance a performance.  All of these are absolutely necessary and I think if I could keep focus on the end product, they might be more tolerable.

The other true statement is that it is very hard for me to completely partition my life.  Have a bad day at work and it can carry over into dancing.  Worry about a family member or, for me, a sick dog can be distracting and dance demands so much of your attention.  I guess sometimes I just assumed that dance can be my escape and I can use it to feel happy even when I’ve had a crummy day.

But it doesn’t always work like that.  See, I may have equated dance with my books and the one game I play which are more pure escapism.  I can read or play and put myself in another world and it is much easier to block everything else out because the only stimulus is the book or the game.

With dance, if you’re having a bad day, then sometimes things don’t come easily.  If you are distracted, then it is easier to forget the routine you thought you knew.  If you are tired and stressed, then it is harder to hold the frame or do the more physical aspects of dance which are just naturally part of the grind of practice.

Now, my reaction to those things also depends on my mood which can be heavily influenced by the events of the day.  On good days, the job gives me something meaningful.  On bad days, I spend my time doing the type of useless things needed to support the corporate infrastructure.  That can lead to the thought in the back of my mind that I’m really trapped and not accomplishing anything.  That seed can germinate in a lesson where one mistake can suddenly lead to a whole field of weeds popping up having me doubt everything I’m doing.

I also believe I could be putting more subconscious pressure on dance to be fun when things at work get a little more stressful as they are now.  With the specter of reorg and job cuts looming overhead, I struggle to find a way to momentarily escape that reality.  Then, I expect dance to take me away and, when it doesn’t, it just triggers and even stronger negative reaction.

I don’t know what all this means just yet.  I know that the practice and grinding well make the performances better but I don’t “know” it deep inside (if that makes sense).  Likewise, I know I can make improvements and make these dances go well but I don’t yet “know” it.  I suppose if I could focus a little more on the big picture.  The goal is to have a great Showcase in about a month.  That’s what we are working towards.  It isn’t always going to be fun and there are going to be setbacks.  So I can’t expect dance to be the miracle thing that takes away all my troubles.  But, if I can hold that dark stuff at bay, I can have more productive practices and that will ultimately lead to a better Showcase.  And the better I feel about Showcase going in, the better it will be and Showcase can be a day where I truly can put aside all the crap going on in other parts of my life.

Did I find any universal truths here?  Don’t know yet.

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