5 Ways You Might Be Missing The Pointe

Are you as passionate about dance as you think?

I hear it all the time:

“I’ve been dancing since I was 3 years old, this is all I know and love, and I will do it for the rest of my life if I can!”

There are many dancers I’ve personally been inspired by, and hope to one day match their talents and skills. Dancers and non-dancers alike look up to them and wonder what exactly makes them tick. I often wonder this myself, specifically about what it is that drives them to be so great. Is it hard work? Luck? I imagine it’s a combination of both. But what if they’re just a little more passionate than most people?

To have Passion for something, is to have a powerful, COMPELLING feeling towards it. Although most dancers will tell you they are really passionate about their craft, the truth is a lot of them aren’t as compelled to dance as they may think. They love it, they’ve been doing it forever, but their motivations may have become skewed over time. They haven’t studied it’s past, let alone the possibilities for the future, and are in danger of missing the greatest joy anyone can experience!

Here are five ways to check your passion, and possibly re-focus your sights to get the most from your talents and really enjoy your journey:

Your Motivation

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If your favorite phrase is “If it aint about the money..” this might be an indicator that you’re a selfish prick. OK, maybe not, but you definitely need to check your priorities. There is a very clear difference between desire and motivation, and most people can’t make the distinction (see all persons paying for gym memberships that never go). You could want to do something, but never make the effort to do it without the right motivation. Ask yourself what it is that makes you actually get up, put on sweats, get on the train, and head to a class: Is it the feeling you get from learning something new? Or the potential for a better paycheck?

Your Purpose

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This one is my favorite. Dancers will swear each of their family members to God that they have something big and ground breaking planned for their talents. Let Iggy Azalea announce she’s going on tour however, and just watch the herd of zombies. That is not to say that your purpose for dance can’t be to go on tour with a major artist, because it absolutely can. In fact, that’s a pretty big accomplishment! But like knowing the distinction between motive and desire, it’s important you figure out the difference between what you want, and what society wants FOR you. It can be easy to observe what is widely accepted as “success”, and lose sight of why you started dancing in the first place. What is the purpose of dance in your life? Does it help you through trying moments? Do you enjoy it?

Your Self

Remember when dancing was fun? Yea, me too. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle of trying to make your dreams come true, that you forget to actually live them. I know so many artists that lose themselves to industry standards, and forget the most important person in the entire equation! Who do you dance for? Your agents? Your fans? Your mom-ager? If your motivation is there, and your purpose is clear, the only person you should seek approval from is YOU.

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Tell It like it is Dr. Evil

I’ve been considering moving to Pluto for some time now. Between reports of constant racial tension in this country and the Caribbean, wars within and across nations, and violent acts around the world from criminals and cops alike, it’s a wonder we’ve survived this long as a planet. How can anyone look at their surroundings and not feel the need to help? If you’ve been content with the idea of using your skills to benefit ONLY you, there is a “special place in a very “special location you can go straight to. Opinions aside, everyone has complete freedom to do with their gifts what they choose. But with such a universal, and widely popular platform to work with, the idea that you can reach millions of people through today’s technology and possibly make a difference doing something you love is pretty amazing! Are you willing to help? Do you even want to?

Your Future

Everyone knows dance as a career is a relatively short lived one. We’re prone to injury and overexertion; literally dancing until we physically can’t anymore. By industry standards, if you can’t pass for young and fresh, you can pirouette your ass right back to where you came from. So what happens to that burning passion? Any firefighter will tell you just how dangerous it is to contain a fire of great magnitude, they often just let it burn out. But you can’t let go! And you don’t have to. What avenues have you explored that can still feed your dance spirit long after you can’t perform? Have you thought ahead enough to prepare for the inevitable? Do you really plan to make a LIFE out of dance, or is it just cool to say?

The Bigger Picture

Everyone has their own reason for doing anything. You have complete control, and complete freedom to do as you please, with anything you have. If you have been blessed with the talent and gift of movement, you know and feel the joy I myself experience, and can share in my sentiments. I urge everyone to look deep. Discover what makes you tick, what makes you great. Find the ways you can use your talents to your advantage; how it can benefit you, and change the world. Dig up the passion that may have been buried under self doubt and busy schedules, and pin it on the wall over your bed so you can look at it everyday as a reminder:

This is something I was given…and it can be taken from me.

But what do I know?

I just move.


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Conversations about moving towards social & economic change within the dance and entertainment industries.

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