I have a recommendation for you this week:
Dance even if you don’t consider yourself a dancer.
What I’m implying here is two-fold:
- Physically dance and move your body.
- Metaphorically dance YOUR dance (i.e. do your art or creative practice) - even if you don’t consider yourself a pro.
Let me explain.
First, the importance of physically dancing:
If you haven’t heard by now, dancing is good for your health. It boosts endorphins, gets your body active, and fights the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
It helps release emotional blocks and gives you an outlet to release the stress and pressure of daily life.
And, it can get your creative energy moving by taking you out of your head (and whatever crazy thoughts are keeping you stuck there).
Example: I often give my clients who are writers or visual artists dancing assignments. As in, “spend 5 minutes dancing before getting to your creative work.” There’s a reason for this – physical movement can free up your creative energy in uncanny ways. (Uncanny! I’ve always wanted to use that word in a sentence!)
Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself.
Here’s some video inspiration from my man Joe who is not one who considers himself a dancer, but dances anyway:
Next, the importance of practicing your art or creative outlets:
So like I mentioned earlier, this second part indicates that you can dance your dance, write your book, practice your piano, do your art, no matter what your professional title is.
One of the hang-ups I hear often – and one that I personally struggled with for a long time – is the idea that if you’re not a technically proficient or a professional artist, then why bother. It can feel silly to take time from your duties as a functioning adult to go and play and do something that might feel childish. I hear you.
But remember that practicing something creative serves more purpose than trying to get into the industry. It can be a relief from stress, a fun and freeing outlet, and a way to get focused and in your zone - similar to the physical act of dancing listed above. It can also just be a necessary thing for your soul. (If you feel that calling inside, you know what I mean.)
If you wait until someone stamps you with approval to allow you to make art and be creative, you’ll be waiting a long time. While it’s nice to receive grants, get awards, complete degrees, etc., those things don’t make you an artist. You do.
Want to be a painter? Go buy a set of paints – even cheap ones at the nearest Target will do. Just paint something. And then do it again.
Apply this mindset to whatever your creative interests and pursuits are.
Need more convincing? Read about why creativity matters here.
(And actors, I know you’re saying, “But… I need to audition and get a role in order to practice my craft!” That’s true in one sense, but you have more control than you think. Act like an actor every day. Play roles in your daily life. Start a YouTube channel and riff. Network and tell people what you’re up to and what you’re looking for. Keep putting yourself out there and you will attract the perfect roles.)
Get my gist?
It starts from inside of you. The outer opportunities come with consistent action and when divine timing is ready to step in.
And you know what? There’s actually a third piece to this statement:
You can apply a dancing mentality to more than just your creative practices.
To me, the verb “dance” evokes many feelings:
The jitters of being in the wings getting ready to perform, the moment you step onto stage or into a classroom, the risk of stepping into the unknown, the freeing feeling of being totally present and expressing yourself.
Imagine if we applied all that to our work and daily lives?
I’d love to hear your take on all of this.
When has dance physically helped you?
How can you use dance as a metaphor for your other pursuits?
Share your thoughts in the comments below. Links to dance videos are also welcomed ;)
And I’ll leave you with a playlist that helped me dance through life in a particularly rough week. I hope it has the same effect on you:
p.s. If you missed it earlier, I’m re-opening Dance Into a New Phase until the end of the month. Click here for a free 7-day dance challenge.