How often do you feel down about yourself and what do you do when you notice the feeling of insecurity? You can perceive the insecurity as a weakness, lack of confidence, uncertainty, or as an expression of your vulnerability in chasing perfection. Insecurity follows every dancer like a shadow.
Because you are afraid of insecurity, you are working hard on any kind of safety that would prevent danger and risk. As a dancer you feel safer when you accumulate more knowledge and more experience. The more you practice, the more secure you feel. You all know the saying: “If you fail to practice, you practice to fail.”
To be able to accept the feeling of insecurity as a part of a growth process and life in general, you simply need to rise to a higher level of consciousness.
Knowledge – knowing – wisdom
When something is known to you, you feel safe. The great feeling that you have during the private lesson with your favourite teacher, when everything is clear, normally doesn't last. When you try the same movement on your own the next day, the feeling is not there anymore. Why? Knowledge can be given to you with good intention, but before it becomes your true knowing and understanding, you need to work hard to absorb it and connect it with your real experience. Knowledge is easily accessible, there are many great experts available in person or online and you can listen to them, work with them or read the literature of your interest.
Knowledge you can get, but to experience it you need to give your full attention, contribute your time. Your own thinking and practicing helps you to arrive to deeper insights and awareness, your knowing. You are then not following or accepting the information out of faith only, but rather own your investigation. It's not about keeping the knowledge, but investigating it, remaining curious and open to insecurity. New ideas serve you only as an inspiration for your own journey.
The point of knowledge is to make your own contribution to the dance community. Be aware that knowledge can also function as a wall; having a lot of knowledge, you might think you have reached the end. Better stay innocent like a child, curious, non-judgmental, so you can continue with your own investigation and bridging your experience with others. You need to have courage to walk the walk that no one walked before you. Your own discoveries of what you put inside the movement and how you do that, will connect you with others. This way you will provide a gateway to wonderland as your dancing can transport you and other people to another state of being.
Your knowledge consists of all information that you’ve accumulated from various sources. Your wisdom is the result of your own experience. Embracing insecurity is possible when you understand that the movement can never be totally known, it can only be felt. The “unknowable” can only be experienced and expressed. When you function from a state of not knowing, then you wonder. Analysis and consistent questions kill the wonder, mind controls you to the point that it could paralyze you. You need to allow the wonder to guide your movement inquiries. The wisdom is the transformation to a new stage of your consciousness.
Practice and let go
At one point you need to trust your movement mechanics and let the thinking go. I know it is difficult to shut down your thoughts, but eventually you can send them to the background and call your sensing to the foreground. Take a breath and then just trust. With taking a breath, you are moving yourself and your thoughts out of the way and entering the world of deeper awareness which includes movement sensing.
Great artists say that the best way to prepare the mind is to get rid of it. Try to start dancing with no thoughts, like an empty space, and then fill it in, let your sensing, feeling take over. You have to practice it to the point that it dances you. Not on automatic pilot of course. If you just automatically repeat the movement, your consciousness is not needed.
In order to develop your skills to the maximum, your full presence in the moment and awareness of all your senses is needed. This is why your body will always be able to find a good solution in critical situations. When you create a solid base, you will be able to accept all unpredictable uncertainties as challenges. You will embrace the risks as well.
Here is a little analogy so you can picture it better. Imagine a horse and a carriage. Your well trained body can be seen as a horse, which is pulling the carriage, your dance. But it can be seen as opposite, the dance is the horse which takes your body, the carriage, on a journey. You can be danced, the movement happens. Can this idea resonate with you?
Luckily you don't need to practice your spirit and the heart, they know their way.
Practice is not everything
It takes endless hours of practice to master your abilities and pull out your undiscovered, hidden treasures. Practice is not a sacrifice or a burden. If you allow yourself to be lost in movement senses, you will be able to devote hours to perceiving and regulating them.
Especially when you practice fundamentals and technique, your mind wants to control the process. Questions will arise and answers will be needed. Your mind will analyze and research and you will have expectations. Too many expectations and the pursuit of perfection can cause frustration. There will always be a piece of the outcome that will at least to some degree be out of your control. Accept that in order to prevent anxiety or chronic fatigue.
You are good enough and to be better you need to balance your activity and rest and take good care of your entire health, physical and psychological. Your house of health stands on eight pillars – nutrition, water, sleep, body care, physical activity, psychological balance, contact with the ground/earth and sun exposure. All pillars need to be in balance and each one deserves your full attention. We will go more into detail in the upcoming article.
Cherish your insecurity
Insecurity means that nothing can be taken for granted. By accepting this you may become a great dancer. It is the insecurity that keeps your dancing fresh, alive and vital. The risk taken in a moment creates excitement and may transform something known into a totally new movement expression.
Not only in dancing, but in life in general, you can turn insecurity into a challenge through which you can discover your hidden potentials and new ways of being.
Therefore, cherish your insecurity as it is the very essence of life.
Source of inspiration
Osho, Innocence, Knowledge, and Wonder
Dalai Lama, Lecture, Vilnius 2013