In my quest to dance clean, I clear clutter from my mind. I focus on one thing and my mind says, “Whoa, no more room in here, better throw away some things (memories, thoughts, observations) that don’t serve” So I throw them out and free up my hard drive.
Initial challenges are always to retain and internalize choreo quickly while dancing clean. You need solid body vocabulary and an understanding of the impulses of motion. I have a disconnect between feeling I am dancing clean and actually dancing clean. When I watch myself in a video, I see that I did not achieve the distances in motion I thought I did. I only made it half way. The camera doesn’t lie or play tricks on my mind.
I would say it took me about a year and a half to reach a level where I could retain the main outline of a few eight counts. The next year was spent getting cleaner within the outline by increasing my body vocabulary. Now, I am finally able to recognize the in-between nuances. I think of them as the journey of the movement where the dancer shows real control and flavor.
My current goal is to become cleaner with more control and rhythmic nuances. If I work hard, I hope to see improvement in a year. And…I’ll be clearing a lot of clutter! (Much more fun than house-cleaning- another way of working out those obsessive mental kinks.)
There is something very satisfying about setting both clear short and long term goals. My short term goal can be anything as simple as “just show up for class today” to “let me reach the floor when I bend over and touch the floor with my finger tips without my back hurting”. The long term goal is harder of course. Mine is to find my voice in dance without compromising on craft or using age as an excuse.
When I ask for a simple reward from the universe as I go about my day, I make it achievable. I don’t set myself up for failure. I used to. I used to expect too much of myself and have such high standards. I am kinder towards myself today. If I am not coming from a place of gratitude, I remind myself: ” If I were to die tomorrow, what would I want to do today that I can actually achieve?” Often I end up with the same simple answer like, “Yep, I’d really like to touch the floor today when I stretch over.” The fact that my answer remains the same tells me I have arrived to a place where things add up. Because my pleasures are simple, I can attain them. Man is built to be in motion, in the flow, to connect to music and to celebrate their body.
Life lesson here is: keep at it; the worst that can happen is that you touch the floor.