I had a private lesson last week, and I loved it. Nowadays, I spend way more time teaching than being taught so anytime I can work on me is a plus. After the lesson, Laura and I were leaving and buzzing about dance as we usually do. I realized that my spirit desired growth. That deep down gut feeling you have when you feel the need to do something is usually a sign that you must indeed, do that thing.
For me, it’s learning.
I’m currently in the beginning stages of starting a second business outside of dancing. Suffice to say, it’s a challenge and certainly exciting but the most satisfying part is undoubtedly the learning process. Just a few short months ago, I didn’t know enough about my new business venture to think even of doing something more formal. Despite that, here I am setting up my social media accounts and preparing to take over the city with a brand new business.
Isn’t it crazy to think about how quickly that happened? Just like my private lesson, I participated in an activity that pulled something out of me. The question I like to think about is whether or not that ‘thing’ was inside of me all along.
Was I already capable of doing that move before my coach taught it to me? Was it just as simple as him telling me what to do? Conversely, did I already possess the fortitude to pursue my new entrepreneurial goal and just needed the vehicle to do so?
Perhaps it not that simple.
I’m a big fan of a great gentleman named Les Brown. He speaks about success and pursuing your goals and preaches that whatever you desire is indeed possible. He’ll often talk about a bamboo tree and how it takes about five or so years to grow. More interestingly, he talks about how the Bamboo seeds lay underground for almost five years. Then, with swiftness and full purpose, the seeds sprout a tree that grows many feet in a matter of ninety or so days.
The important question to consider is:
Did the Bamboo develop in five years, or ninety days?
Did my ability to do some complicated choreography just appear out of the ether because my coach told me do so? Did my ability to learn a whole new business worthy skill develop out of nowhere?
I highly doubt it’s that simple. I like to believe that I planted seeds for my dancing ability years ago, and now my skills are sprouting out. My coach is only pulling things out of me that are now present that were not there before.
How about you? Where are you currently at with your dancing? How about any other areas of interest in your life?
I always tell my students who struggle early on that they should take solace in the fact that they are likely great at something that would give me big trouble. I mean it every single time the words come out of my mouth. There is always something you have a natural talent or aptitude in that will still require some time and effort. Whoever you might think is just awesome at everything, quite frankly, is not.
If you are just starting out and are wondering how in the hell you’ll ever get this dancing thing, don’t worry! You’re only planting the seeds that will lay in what appears to be a dormant state. Then, out of nowhere, you’ll be at a dancing event, and the progress you’ve made will slap you across the face and astound you. A wise man what pointed out that people always quote:
“You reap what you sow.”
He wisely noted that “Whatever you sow is also what you reap.”
The gardening analogy is so fitting for this topic because our inability to do something is directly related to the lack of effort we’ve applied. That same holds true for things in which we excel.
For all of you new seed planters, there is no appropriate time for this incubation period. You might have a natural aptitude for dance or an upbringing where dancing was part of your childhood. If not, no worries! Applying some seeds of intention and thought will cause great things to happen.
This goodness is also true of more intermediate and advanced dancers. While our progress might appear slim and insignificant, we can always make adjustments in what we do. We can always work on nailing those spins better. We can always work on our extensions and lines when we dance. There is always a need to work on musicality and rhythm. Perhaps even focus on shines?
In other words, unless we stop trying, there are always news seeds to plant and room to grow. Just like the trusty and powerful Bamboo, we’ll also become impatient if we see no progress. Then, like clockwork, you’ll see your next performance or competition and silently acknowledge that the effort has paid off.
Every so often, I like to remind myself of this fact. I sometimes forget that no matter where my ability in dance takes me that I can always refine my skills and keep myself excited and engaged.
For those of you who know me fairly well are aware that I went to visual art school for college. I was very adept at illustration and computer art before dance came into my life. I mention this because, unlike dancing, I let that crop wither away over the years. That talent hasn’t received my focus and intention the way dance has, and I now know that I am rusty compared to how I once was.
Thank goodness for me up-keeping our website and graphic design identity or I’d likely be back to stick figures by now!
Have you experienced your Bamboo growth spurt with dance? How about in other areas of your life?
I’d love to hear about it!
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To your dancing…