What do you do when your dance mojo has left you and you’re not feeling it as a joy but a bit of chore and how do you get your motivation back when this happens? The difficulty with taking your dance past-time a bit more seriously for a time, is that I’ve entered into a bit of psychological warfare with my dancing. Ballet, as we know, is very physical and we watch dancers put their bodies through tough conditioning for the technical feats but what we forget about, is the emotional toughness that ballet takes. The constant feeling of being on view and from dancers’ biographies, that feeling of trying to obtain, in their minds, the unobtainable and the inevitable criticism of not just yourself but the company, friends etc. Ballet dancers, although they look super-human, are, I believe, fully human and even though you can have a physically strong body and psychologically strong, women do go through many changes in their body that can imbalance emotionally and these emotions can be very powerful at times. Dancers must listen to the rhythms of their bodies and I do hope that there is support for dancers to deal with such frailities of the human condition. There is a heightened awareness in society at the moment for mental health but there needs to also be an awareness of the physiological make-up that impacts on the emotional health of a dancer, especially as the physiology changes through different moments in life.
At the moment, I am having struggles with the thing that I love, ballet. Maybe I am too emotionally attached for an amateur dancer and I need to re-evaluate and rebalance or I need to see the wider picture and that there are so many different personalities in a room. Thankfully, I have another source of strength and other interests in my life but I know, in the end, all these experiences in life will be to my betterment and if we do not run away from challenges, they will make us stronger.
Maybe, it is also that we acknowledge our busy lives and not try to push ourselves too much and I happen to work somewhere that is particularly busy coming up to the summer and it is very much questions, questions, questions, all the time and sometimes it is mentally draining. Usually ballet is an antidote, however, it is difficult to take the mind out of ballet. I am sure that I will establish equilibrium and go back to enjoy my favourite past-time again and it will give me the impetus to work smarter and intelligently for an older but by no means, ancient, amateur dancer. It is probably also pre-show exhaustion as well and, after all, there is no business like showbusiness and the show must go on!