Life Perspectives: Dancing with Gratitude

It can be very tiresome, and very lonely as a dancer. At all levels, at all stages, everywhere you go, you discover people who tirade about how you need to be yourself, who rant about how such a person is terrible, and who complain about what’s wrong with anything and everything. Everywhere you look, someone else has copped out of the industry, has burnt out of dance, or even burned by their companions. While many come in with hopes, aspirations, vitality, and dreams, just as many leave broken, weary, exhausted, and disillusioned. The longer you are a dancer, the more you will see alliances formed and broken, and the more you wonder…

Now, what? I used to love dace, I used to be excited about it, I used to have such passion –how am I not anymore? I used to have such a presence on the floor, but I’ve lost it. How can I keep centered amidst these feelings? How do I find ground when I lose my way –when I’ve lost my way?

When facing such persistent fears and questions like these, there are definitely a couple of things to remember. Chances are that you are recognizing that your life is out of balance for whatever reason. However, you also need to recognize these fears and losses for what they really are. We can often identify major losses like love, friends, to death and more. And yet, it can be very difficult to see the losses in our dance journey that have caused us to become tired and lonely. Perhaps we have lost our ability to dance, the feeling of balance in our personal lives, our feeling of security, or our hope to be a magnificent dancer. Even more so, we might have forgotten that being without that passion is also a great a loss. When you discover that you’re tired from dance, for whatever reason, go back to that moment. Recognize the loss of your passion because this is where you first became tired, lonely, and burnt out. This is where you lost yourself. 

You begin to recognize that your loss, being burned out, being hurt, being defeated is temporary. In fact, in the midst of your losses, you will find great space. In neglecting to recognize our losses, we often overlook this inner space where our joy for dance is. It is at this point, where you can find your passion for dance and for yourself. And, it is here, where you can ground yourself in the knowledge that your weariness is temporary. Instead, recognize this place not only as empty space, but as the root of gratitude.

You have just discovered that when you enjoyed dance it was because you were residing in this moment of great joy and gratitude for whatever you had in your life. Perhaps when you enjoyed dance, you never recognized this inner space. However, now that you see that even in your losses and frustrations, you can still access your enjoyment of dance. What a gift! You have discovered, even in your losses, you have an internal ability to access your passion for dance at anytime. This space and gratitude is the extra glow you see in people on the dance floor. Know that you too can dance with gratitude.