One of many things I love about dance is that it surprises me. The same is true of life.
When you dance, things don’t stay the same. Dance is a balance of movement and stillness, changing weight from one body part to another.
Sometimes you miss the beat, early or late, you still missed it. Sometimes you lead, other times someone else leads. Sometimes you drop your partner. Sometimes your partner drops you. On occasion, you have a wardrobe malfunction.
Being able to continue dancing when these things happen -this is the challenge and the joy of dancing.
This is the same for me in my everyday life – mistakes happen, things go wrong, hard work doesn’t always pay off.
But like an athlete, I’ve discovered I must stay in the moment. If I make a mistake, by noticing ease I’m able to let it go and be alive to the potential in the present moment.
Worrying about missing a step or beating yourself up for making a mistake makes you twice as likely to flub the next step. Knowing this is one thing, being able to do it is another.
Applying the Alexander Technique to dancing allowed me to interrupt the unhelpful thinking patterns of worry and negative judgement. Practicing the Alexander Technique is a conscious decision to observe what is happening without labeling your discoveries as good or bad. Similar to breathing meditation when a stray thought intrudes, you notice it and choose to let it go; in dance when a misstep happens, you know you missed it, but you keep moving and let that mistake go.
I can’t will myself to stop these ideas but when they arise, if I choose to ask myself: how easy is my neck? the old fearful thought patterns are interrupted and my natural grace and ease emerges.
Give this a try and let me know what you discover.