Dance is an art. Art takes dedication, concentration and attention to detail. No matter the amount of passion you put into your work, it’s still work. There are times when you may feel that you’ve done all you can and you can’t climb any higher than where you already are. When you’ve come to this point in your craft, there are only two ways to deal with it. 1.) You can give up and climb back down or 2.) You can keep climbing. So many people choose option one because it seems like the easier choice. But, the easier choice isn’t always the one worth choosing. You’ll find that choosing to continue despite the struggles and hardships that may follow is often more rewarding.

If you haven’t figured it out, today’s topic is confidence. More accurately, how to develop confidence as a dancer and carrying that over into all aspects of your life.

In more cases than you can probably count, you’ve compared yourself to others. “Am I as smart as them?”, “Am I as talented as them?”, “Do I work as hard as them?”, “Why can’t I be as good as them?”

We all do it; it’s human nature. Here’s the problem with that: no two people are ever going to be in the exact same position in their journey through life. We have a tendency to only give ourselves praise if we out-perform others. The only reason that we should praise ourselves is when we out-perform ourselves. As a dancer, we are constantly reminded of the talents of those around us. Remember to focus on yourself and measure your progress based on what you do. You are your only competition.

Mistakes. We all make them. We can either choose to learn from them or let them dictate our next moves. Raise your hand if you’ve ever been your own worst critic. Everyone should have a hand in the air.

Making mistakes is just another part of the learning experience. As dancers, we fall, we stumble and we miss a few steps here and there. Does that mean that we should hang up our pointe shoes and step away from the barre for good? Of course not! When we make these mistakes, use them to shape your performance. Use your falls as lessons and remind yourself that a good performance doesn’t just happen. It’s something you work for.

Persistence, persistence, persistence. This is what makes a great dancer. Heck, this is what makes a great anything! Without constant persistence and self assurance, where would any of us be? In order to achieve the impossible, you must go out on a limb and do it. When it seems like you’re not going to get as far as you want, stop, readjust your perspective, plan your next move and take action. You’re never going to improve if you give up. You are where you are because you worked for it. Believe in all of the amazing things that you are. Know how special you are and how lucky you are to be able to express yourself in such a beautiful art form.

Keep your head held high, keep your eye on your goals, and clear your mind of any outside noise (i.e. haters, competition, self doubt, negativity, shaming, etc.). Here’s your challenge:

1.) At the beginning of the day, look at yourself in the mirror. Tell yourself all of the things you love about your body. You muscles, the color of your hair, the dimple in your chin. Then, tell yourself all of the things you’re going to work on improving today. 2.) At the end of the day, go back to the mirror. Tell yourself about all of your triumphs today. Then, without being self-deprecating, tell yourself what you will do better tomorrow.

My dear dancer, you are more talented than you could possibly know. You work harder than most and have more patience than most. Be as kind and understanding to yourself as you are with others. When you stop doubting yourself, you’ll start shining brighter.

Passion ~ Dedication ~ Artistry