When I was dancing professionally, I accepted change as a way of life. My career took me all over the country and the world – I changed cities, theaters, hotels, studios, planes, trains, buses and restaurants, often for 3 month stretches. It was my job to follow an itinerary, created by someone else. I felt like I was in the army. To this day, I am fascinated by the implicit structure and discipline of the military.
I was in charge of taking care of myself to the degree that it would support the requirements of the hours spent rehearsing, performing and taking a daily technique class.
This is well understood by elite athletes, competitive ballroom dancers (both amateur and professional), musicians, singers and in short, all performers who dedicate their lives to their art form. It is all encompassing and there had better be a strong level of enjoyment, passion, or form of commitment to keep going.
The flavor of my upbringing fed into the required discipline of my career. My mother was fond of orchestrating my talent so I was quite practiced in cooperating with her. She expected me to accomplish the thing she wanted for me (actually herself!) . Mostly, I could deliver, which set up a nice little complex that drove me to fulfill other’s expectations.
For the most part, at least initially, my form of commitment to my career was habit bolstered by conditioning.
But here’s the good news!
I learned that there was a clear means for changing ingrained habits that had less to do with discipline and more to do with adopting a process that can be utilized whenever I choose..
The formula goes like this:
- Recognize the habit that you want to change.
- Introduce new thinking that steers the nervous system towards efficiency, ease and breath.
- Use these tools to reprogram your nervous system away from an unwanted habit. These habits can be over tightening muscles, not engaging appropriate muscles to complete a series of dance moves and even jumping to anger or rage,
I learned that if I could move myself across the room without engaging my neck muscles, my core would kick in. If I opted to notice and stop my neck tightening I was much less likely to go to rage.
The most interesting part of this is HOW to release the familiar habit of tightening and enjoy more freedom AND strength.
Stay tuned for my group class announcement in September where I will work with you on how to unlock tension, dance with more ease and learn an educational tool for life!
If you want to find out more, book a lesson with me, either on Zoom or if you are in the NY/NJ area at my studio in Montclair, NJ. Please use my contact form, tell me about yourself and leave your availability. I will respond within 24 hours.
Happy Dancing! If you know other dancers who may benefit from reading my blog, please forward. If you are a studio owner, I offer workshops on location.