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5 Ways to deal with a hard day in a studio

January 23, 2017

We all have bad days in a studio sometimes. However, the key is to know how to deal with them and turn them into positive opportunities. Here are 5 ways to deal with a hard day in a studio.

 

Photo: Laurie Young Photography

 

No matter if you're  a pro or you started dancing yesterday

I'm sure you have heard so many times some inspirational quotes saying keep going, keep moving forward. Sometimes when I google inspirational quotes I struggle to find ones that I have not read before. 

 

Do  you think your dance career would be easier if you woke up and suddenly danced like current World champions? Probably yes!!! BUT dancing is not measured on a scale 1 to 10 unfortunately. There is no end point, so you will never be fully satisfied with your product as a dancer. You can always be more musical, have nicer foot arch, do more pirouettes or be more dramatic on the floor. What you go through, is exactly the same what your dance idols must deal with too- just on a different level. Whether you're a beginner dancer or a professional, hardships are the same

 

 

Another bad day at the office

 

You wake up in the morning, your phone didn't charge over night, you ran out of coffee and you can't find you practice top you wanted to train in today. And this is just start of the day... Does it sound familiar? You turn up at studio, put your shoes on and suddenly your rumba walks resemble walks of a pedestrian you passed by earlier on... You think to yourself- I can't dance. No need to mention dancing with your partner which brings you down even more. God, make the day end!!! 

 

 

We all have those days and we need to accept it. What do you do? There are a few ways to deal with it...

 

1. Domino Effect

Did you notice that bad events usually come together, snowballing into more problems? Having a bad practice is similar. Sometimes, you already know beforehand that your couple of hours with a partner is going to be difficult!! Why is that? Do we create those problems ourselves and get into that "bad" mind frame which causes more stress? Then on top of all that, whilst we are busy with all the "disastrous" things happening around us, we may miss those positive opportunities...

 

First of all, realize if you are going through the domino effect of bad events. Only then, you can think to break the chain.

 

 Photo: Laurie Young Photography

 

2. Me, myself and I

If you are so overwhelmed by stress and the fact that nothing is working in your dancing, then take a break. Only you can put yourself back on track. Changing your mindset is the key.

 

Spend 5-10 minutes on separating yourself from everything around you. Put your headphones in, play a piece of music that inspires you (I like to play Winter by Vivaldi on YouTube for example), focus on your breath and start moving around slowly. Close your eyes if you want. Avoid any sharp movements and imagine every part of your body is singing. 

 

 Photo: Laurie Young Photography

 

3. How lucky am I?

When you constantly keep thinking that your feet just don't seem to be working anymore, let's occupy your brain with something completely opposite. Stop what you are doing and find 5 things in your dancing that you are proud of and grateful for. It can be that memory of your performance when suddenly everything worked, or those times when someone you never knew, loved your dancing, or maybe simply the fact that you are privileged to wear those sparkly outfits, travel around and just dance. There are so many things to be grateful for, so what are yours

 

Reinforcing the positive attitude using your own "happy" moments, can change your mindset and ultimately your practice session.

 

 

4. Coach, I need you!

Your teacher is not only there to teach you steps, but also to help you stay motivated. The good teacher should inspire you and get you back on track when you need it. Of course, it doesn't mean driving to your teacher's home for a sobbing session, but texts can always go a long way. Just be aware not to abuse this one as they also have their own lives and don't necessarily want to spend weekends giving psychotherapy sessions to you.

 

Your teacher knows what you need, what you are going through and that most of the time, you are just being a drama queen, but they are there to support you on your journey. 

 

 

5. Give me a break!

 

There is no time to waste and you have a competition in 2 weeks but now your legs in cha cha cha hardly look like Gaynor Fairweather's. However, sometimes it's ok to take a break. Finish the practice early if nothing works even though you tried different techniques. Don't drag yourself around the floor, hating everything and everyone around. Tomorrow is another day. More to that, if your mind is full of negative thoughts, you have no chance to improve anything. Go for a drink and have some cake instead. Start fresh tomorrow when your day is another blank canvas. 

 

In summary, we all have bad days sometimes but as dancers we need to learn to deal with them. Unfortunately, dancing is quite a ruthless companion who will not always do as you like! But if you keep looking after it, now and again you may earn a treat! 

 

I gave you some ideas on how I deal with those horrible days when motivation is scarce. Whether you want to meditate and listen to music, focus on yourself and count your blessings or simply call it a day to start fresh the next morning, it is your choice. You may even have many more ideas to cope with your bad days.

 

What are you coping strategies with a tough day in a studio? Leave your suggestions in comments so every dancer who struggles sometimes can benefit from it. 

 

If you want to stay up-to-date with other ideas on how to make you a different dancer, don't forget to join our mailing list.

 

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