Everyone struggles with lack of motivation and inspiration at times, and dancers are no exception! Dance is an extremely difficult art form, and more demanding than many sports. Sometimes the long hours of arduous practice and blistered feet can get overwhelming, and it can be easy to get discouraged and loose your motivation.
Lack of motivation can be caused by several factors. The three most common causes of demotivation are exhaustion, burnout, and beating yourself up over mistakes. The first most important step towards motivation is to address the cause of the demotivation or discouragement. Sometimes this can be hard to do, but you have to find the root of the problem and not just address the surface symptoms. Remember that even the best dancers have had times of self-doubt and discouragement. Don’t worry! Sometimes meditation can help you realize what is causing you to be discouraged. Try sitting in a quite place, closing your eyes, and letting your thoughts drift peacefully by. You might be surprised by how peaceful thinking can help clear your thoughts! Try asking yourself some questions – what are your goals in dance? Why did you start dancing? When did you start feeling discouraged?
I see a lot of dancers bringing themselves down for “not being good enough” or “talented enough” or “flexible enough.” Very often, taking yourself down like that can cause demotivation and discouragement. It is good to be able to look in the mirror in class and know what needs to be corrected, but you have to take things one step at a time. Don’t try to address all your problems at once; try focusing on fixing one thing in dance each month, and will find that you are much more motivated! I am naturally a perfectionist, so I know how it feels to be overwhelmed by the things that need correction. For a long time I would constantly come down on myself for not being “good enough.” When I finally realized that it is the passion and love for dance that matters, I was able to relax, and I improved a million times faster!
If you have been dancing a lot and recently started feeling demotivated or discouraged, it is possible that you are exhausted and overworked. If you think this might be why you’re feeling down, try taking a little break! Sometimes a week or two off from dance is all you need, and you will come back to dance refreshed and motivated to work even harder!
No matter what is causing your demotivation in dance, it is important to get re-inspired! A great way to refuel your zest for dance is to watch some ballet or dance videos on YouTube. Misty Copeland, Maria Kotchetkova, and Miko Fogarty are some of my favorite dancers to watch for inspiration. Try starting by watching a few of these videos:
My best tip for all of you is to work hard, and don’t bring yourself or others down. Don’t beat yourself up over your mistakes… work to correct them! Dance takes time, and patience is important. We all have bad days… keep going, and follow your dreams. Hard work, positivity, and perseverance will get you everywhere!
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