Are there any common mistakes you see new dancers make?
“They’re so afraid. If I could erase their fear, I would.”
This was said by Susan Jones a 50 year American Ballet Theatre veteran in an article where she gives advice around succeeding in dance. Read the full article here.
It’s the same exact comment I would make about new Ballroom, Swing or Latin dancers. The fear of something new grips all of us, but it just gets in the way. It might be especially true for beginner dancers.
Once you’ve done something for awhile, you can see how fear of mistakes gets in the way of someone just getting started, but it’s hard to see it for ourselves.
In the article, Susan goes on to share some of the things she sees the fear prevents new dancers from achieving. It’s the same across the board. Fear keeps us stuck. Stuck in our comfort zone unwilling to risk and grow. Fear keeps us from achieving what we desire, it keeps us from fulfilling our potential.
So, what to do about that?
My friend Stephanie J. Allen says FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real. That is so very true.
Fear is a reaction, not a reality. It can feel like a reality. The reaction is real… and the good news is: often when you simply recognize that you are reacting to something, you can choose to stop. The act of recognition puts you into choice.
when you really deconstruct ‘fear’, it’s not real.. It IS all in our minds based on our thoughts and feelings about events that may or MAY NOT ever happen.~’Transcend Your Limits, Fear Is Not Real ‘Article
What does that mean for us as dancers?
We get to try it out. Knowledge is power. We now know three things
- We are not alone in our fear – beginner dancers across disciplines experience it
- It’s not real and doesn’t have to control us
- Simply recognizing it often sets us free from it and allows us to choose … and that’s empowering
Personally, give me anything that helps me to become more aware and empowered. I love poking around into alternatives and finding my way around the psyche.
Anything that can help me, or my students to embrace more of the joys in life – bring it on!
You can watch the video version of this article here
- 0:50 – the one fear that is prevalent across dance disciplines
- 1:15 – what we can learn from children
- 2:22 – an acronym to set you free
- 3:05 – finding what’s real
“Do not misunderstand me, danger is very real, but fear is a choice. We are all telling ourselves a story and that day mine changed.”~ Will Smith’s character in the movie After Earth