Back in my ballet school days, the common criticism I would get from teachers was that I was too technical and didn’t let emotional expression and artistry come through.
I tried so so hard to get everything perfect. I stretched my feet in weird contraptions to force my arches to bend more. I glared at myself sideways in the mirror making sure everything was tucked in as it needed to be. All I wanted was to be good, to be accepted, to not be laughed at, to make my parents proud.
But I couldn’t figure out the artistic and emotional piece.
How to channel that through my body? Beyond the pirouettes, there was something more that my mind could not grasp hold of.
I thought that maybe once I started having sex it would release something in me and make me a more artistic, expressive dancer. A bit of experimentation later, I soon discovered it wasn’t exactly the equation I needed.... (but that could be a topic for a whole separate post ;)
So I moved on to other things. I went to academic school. I let my mind officially do the work, as dance slowly and reluctantly began to disappear from my regular routine.
Don’t get me wrong - I was pretty happy and life wasn’t terrible. I went through a lot of changes in my twenties including a big transition from a corporate job to the holistic health field and was doing work that felt meaningful. But there was this deep inner longing that wasn’t being fulfilled and I couldn’t deny it.
If you would’ve told the ballerina-me back then that someday I’d be improvising movement, recording it on a video camera, and sharing it on a public platform, I would’ve thought you were speaking a different language.
But now that I’m actually doing it regularly, I feel so much more satisfaction from dancing and truly expressing myself through movement. I finally understand what those teachers 10 years ago were trying to tell me.
What I'm learning: Even if something feels impossible to grasp, it can be reached in due time. Usually in a way you least expected.
How about you? Check in with yourself right now:
Do you rely on the logical, technical parts of yourself to get through the day, rather than letting your own artistry and creativity speak up?
Is there something you’re longing to express? Even if you’re not quite sure what it is?
Was dancing once a part of your life but somehow slipped away?
Tell me in the comment box below.
And here's where things come full circle:
I'm so psyched to announce a brand new and very special workshop series called You Can Dance Again.
This is the kind of dance class you’ve always wished you had (think: all the fun and freedom of dancing, minus the critical eyes and outside pressure), and it’s open to all levels of experience.
It starts on Monday July 8th and all the details can be found here:
[button link="http://jessgrippo.com/ai1ec_event/you-can-dance-again/?instance_id=" size="large" color="aqua" window="yes"]DANCE AGAIN[/button]
It's for you if you want to start dancing again for the pure joy of it, or if you see it as a means to an end.
After all, the benefits of activating your body and freeing up your expressive channels go far beyond just the dance studio.
What would you create, what would you do more of, if you let your body speak?
[button link="http://jessgrippo.com/ai1ec_event/you-can-dance-again/?instance_id=" size="large" color="aqua" window="yes"]Find out with me here. You Can Dance Again.[/button]
Let's start a dance revolution.
to dancing again and again,
p.s. One benefit of this class over your childhood ballet class is that I totally won’t make you wear a leotard. Unless of course you want to.
The dancing begins soon, so sign up now before the spots get filled!