Mar 9, 2014

Dance: 8 qualities dancers develop

1. Respect

Dancers learn to have respect. Respect for the dance and culture itself, and respect for dancers that have been dedicated for years, have contributed so much to the community, and have been an icon in the dance world. It is necessary to recognize that mastering a skill, in this case, a dance style, it only comes with years of studying, practicing and experience. Dancers also learn to respect people in their community, such as teachers, partners, students, and anyone involved in their development. A dancer understands she shouldn't compare herself to others or be disrespectful with anyone else. Last but not least, dancers learn to respect their own body. You should work with your body, not against your body.

2. Discipline

Confidence comes from discipline and training. Dancing, just as any other performing arts, requires hours and hours of practice, and the only way to achieve so, it's through discipline. It's necessary for dancers to be willing to repeat something over, and over, and over again, until not only you get it right, but until you can't get it wrong anymore. We are always looking for new ways to do something we may have already have done before. It takes focus, concentration and a lot of determination that will not succumb under any obstacle.  

"Dreams are achieved not by luck, but by purpose, passion and discipline."

3. Courage

It takes courage to stand up on stage in front of 10 or 1000 people and perform - whether it's dancing, singing, or acting. Dancers develop the courage necessary to fight anxiety, the fear of not performing well, forgetting the routine or just the fear of being ridiculed by the audience. It also takes courage to ask for help, whether for coaching or just a constructive advice, in order to improve your own dancing. Also, dancers are courageous enough to believe in their own skills and abilities, and their own capacity of improving and developing their technique and expression when performing. 

4. Passion

It is not enough to be slightly curious or attracted to dance to stick with it. You must develop a strong feeling and commitment that will keep you going even when you don't want to continue anymore. A dancer learns how to motivate her/himself despite of being tired, hungry, with "no inspiration", or not having the perfect setting for practicing/performing. It is the passion that we feel for dancing that gets us through the process of learning and growing every single day.

5. Dedication

It takes so much effort and tenacity to become a good professional dancer. It is not enough to just take classes, but to practice on your own as well. Dancers, especially in belly dance, learn that they also have to dedicate to contribute with their own community and support other fellow dancers. You need to go to festivals, workshops, meet teachers, performers, get involved. And that requires time and dedication as well. Dancers' dedication also involves watching and learning from outstanding performers. You spend hours watching videos and live performances. A dancer learns that she needs to understand also the history of the dance, the culture and the language of the songs; and that she needs to take care of her own body since its the vehicle used to express herself when dancing.  

6. Patience

The process of learning any skill in general takes time. One does not become great at something in particular from one day to the other. For dancing, one must learn how to be patient with himself. A dancer needs to understand her/his own body, be patient and strongly believe that whether it takes you less or more time to get where you want to go, you will get there if you are determined enough. Do not try to rush the process of learning and developing. Dancers need to understand their own process and ways of learning, and be patient with themselves.

7. Persistence 

Persistence takes you through those longs hours of rehearsing. Persistence will get you where you want to go, and more. Persistence will make you master that particular step or choreography, even if you don't get it right the first 20 times. If someone criticizes your work, you will stay strong and continue to believe in yourself thanks to persistence as well.

8. Humility

Dancers need to be humble enough to accept they don't know something, and hence, they need help to learn it. This humility should not make you feel less than other people, but stronger. It allows you to receive help and guidance from others that are already further ahead in the path you are just starting now. Humility allows us to take the best out of advices other dancers or teachers give us. It also permits us to learn from our mistakes, and grow better every time. Dancers that learn to be humble, will recognize that even when they have achieved so much in their dance career, they can always learn something from others, and that there is always room for improvement. 

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