We all have bad days. Those days when you just don’t feel like doing anything, nonetheless spend hours sweating at the dance studio. No matter if you are a champion dancer in your prime or an adult beginner with a demanding job and a family, nobody can stay focused, motivated and determined all the time. When you’ve had a tough day at school or work that is when the excuses not to dance start to sneak into your mind. There’s nothing wrong with taking a day off and skipping a dance practice once in a while, but if these thoughts start to come too often into your mind, that’s when you need to take action.
Do you sometimes (or more often than that) start having this kind of conversations with yourself? Do you recognize any of the excuses you feed yourself when the call of the comfy sofa and TV are getting stronger than the call of your dance shoes? Then you should keep on reading, because we might have a solution for you.
1. “I don’t really like the atmosphere in my school. The people are not very friendly, the studio is cold and dark, the teacher isn’t very interested in my dance needs and ambitions and all in all, I’m not happy there so why should I even bother going?”
– Unhealthy environment, not motivating teachers, selfish dancers are some of the very few, and luckily, very rare ugly things one may encounter while doing Irish dance. These are all valid reasons for not feeling happy and not wanting to go to dance practice but instead spending a quiet evening at home (or even spending a busy night out!). But, this actually gives you a lot of space for justifying your own laziness. If you think that you’re not in a good school and you find it difficult to force yourself to go to dance practice every time, but you love Irish dance and you are not ready to quit yet– change the school. You would be surprised what transformation might occur in a matter of days, only if you find yourself in the proper environment. You could go from couch potato to I-can’t-wait-for-Friday-it’s-my-dance-day! in a flash. If you don’t like it where you are – change it. And keep dancing!
2.” I am too tired, I worked all day. I deserve some quiet time at home.”
– You sure do. But you also know – it’s not going to be quiet. Your conscience will be banging at the door screaming at you: why aren’t you practicing! The idea of a full evening of dancing after a full day of work is not a pleasing one. The key, I believe, is in thinking in small steps. Pack your dance bag. That’s not too hard, and you sure can master enough strength to do that. Then get out of the house. Get to the studio. Stay for just half an hour. Just enough to keep that nagging voice in your head quiet. Well, now that you’re here, you might stay a bit longer… Stay until the end. Feel great because you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone and you achieved something. You kept dancing.
3. “I feel pain in my foot/leg/arm/stomach”
– News flash: you will feel pain most of the time if you’re a dancer. Your muscles will feel sore, your legs will hurt because your muscles keep developing, your toenails will break and maybe grow in. The pain is OK. It is the sign of progress. But, be very careful not to mistake ‘the pain of progress’ with a serious injury! Even if it’s an ingrown toenail – talk to a physician. It is important to stay safe and healthy – that way you can dance longer and more enjoyable. If it’s an injury he’ll tell you to rest. If it isn’t, keep dancing through the pain.
4.” I can’t do this; it’s too hard”
– well, if you don’t keep dancing, you sure won’t be able to do it. Drilling the steps and dances is not an easy job. It’s difficult, it’s sometimes dull, most of the time you don’t see the results when you think you should and very often dancers get discouraged because they think they will never get any better at this. But the simple truth is: if you keep dancing, you will certainly get better. It takes time, and it takes persistence and it takes you getting off the couch and marching to the studio. So, keep dancing until you can do it!
Photo credit: Image belongs to and is courtesy of the author.
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