Dancer Health

A collection of conscious lessons from 2020

lessons for dancers

Five years ago, we may have been asking one another, “What is your 2020 vision?” Many had their projections, and many were on their path to fulfilling their dreams. Yet, no one could have predicted that the world would literally be shaken and tipped upside down, waking our consciousness from a complacency we didn’t even know existed.  

The world jolted into a stillness. On a macro level, plans were cancelled and people were scrambling for new strategies. What became apparent on a micro-level was that humanity had been moving too fast, and pushing too hard, and within our busyness and passion for productiveness, we potentially missed the importance of some core fundamentals. Within this stillness, a unique metamorphosis began to transpire — pulling society out of a type of self-regard that had been driven by the world’s current — teaching us some silent truths about ourselves, humanity, and how we existed and now know how better to exist in this world.

These lessons highlight how making room for contemplation allows us to listen to our body, our mind and our soul.

#1. How to listen to our body

For many, it was like an eruption waiting to happen. In our driven and competitive human nature, we pushed ourselves to keep up. However, if we stop and observe our decisions, was everything we were doing really effective? Was it truly necessary, valuable, adding to our growth? Or did we ignore what our true selves were trying to communicate in order to conform? Within this stillness, a common theme surfaced, and gave us time to listen to our body, and that it was okay to rest. We allowed space in our mind for clarity, and we discovered new ways of working and working more effectively toward our goals. We learned to lean in and flow because we had to.

#2. How we worked together as a community and how we crave it

On a global scale, we learned how to work together for the safety of one another — especially those most at risk. As a dance community, our teachers quickly adapted to new ways of teaching, keeping us motivated and on track for our growth, and dancers came together even more by sharing classes, insights and stories online. The dance world became more united, and we realised how much we really do need one another, and how much we need to express ourselves in the way we know how best to exist.

#3. How we learned to communicate differently

As artists, we feel and express so much with our body. But our mind suddenly became ignited with new levels of communication, articulation and organisation. Embracing technology, and running meetings and classes suddenly challenged, and we learned how to transform businesses and keep the art form alive through different engagement and communication strategies. 

#4. How time and space made room for creativity

During this time, it became evident, that time and space made way to new levels of creativity. Although our immediate daily routine and lives were restricted, dancers discovered new corners of their apartments and living rooms, allowing new ways of moving — creating new movement sequences — and embracing the outdoors allowed space for clarity. We laughed at new limitations, and evolved, giving ourselves the chance to do new things, such as new classes and courses, and pursue new and varied interests.

#5. We learned how to time block within chaos

For others, life became more chaotic, with clashing commitments, juggling family, and home-schooling simply added extra pressure. Within this, the process of eliminating the unnecessary became prominent for pure survival, and the importance of time blocking became strategic to conserve energy.

#6. What is important and what truly motivates us

One of the hardest challenges is to be separated from our immediate and dance families. Getting up every day and ensuring that online class is taken, is a true test for motivation. Do we dance because we love what we do? Do we dance because we feel pressured to? Do we dance because it’s the only thing we know? These times are certainly testing and truly refine and define us.

As we make our list of goals for the next five years, perhaps instead of purely focussing on tactile and measurable goals, we will carry these lessons and exist within a deeper consciousness — not only for ourselves, our body and our mind — but for our art form, our community and humanity at large.

By Renata Ogayar of Dance Informa.

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