I want to push myself to be the best dancer I can conceivably be - I want to move as effortlessly as Samantha Emanuel, be as jawstopping as Zoe Jakes and to capture my audience like Anasma. And to get somewhere near thise guys I need to practice every day, lots and lots and lots and lots.
Self-discipline has always been my weakness, and I have always found it really hard to commit to a daily practice or routine of anything. After a visit to see Samantha Emanuel last week I've decided to up my game in the practice stakes and do the work needed to craft myself better.
From usually putting in about an hour a day, I've upped my aim to one to three hours every single day, hitting the three hour mark as often as possible.
I'm gonna be honest here, it's really flipping tough and I don't enjoy a lot of it. I get really easily distracted, I feel like I am getting nowhere, I get grumpy, I end up doing hours of yoga and no actual dancing, my arms get sore, I check Facebook every half hour and I get bored real quick.
Dude, it's hard. And I figure that, if I really wanted to be a dancer, it would be easy.
I've got a very loud internal voice who loves to beat me up about my practicing habits. I'm not doing enough! I'm not doing it properly! I need to do more! I mustn't get distracted! And the biggie - I should enjoy it, because dancers love dancing! And if I don't enjoy every second then obviously I am not supposed to be a dancer and I should give up, right?
I think I figured something out the other day.
Training and daily practice isn't meant to be fun all the time. It's not meant to be easy, either. It's training. It's supposed to be hard. If it was all rainbows and giggles, the world would be chockablock with Samanthas and Zoes and Anasmas all over the shop.
When I was at university I remember going to the library reading every book related to chapel architecture, no matter how dull, boring or useless it turned out to be. I remember spending literally DAYS painstakingly building up a wash on a painting. That wasn't fun either. It was work. But I still loved art and architecture, even if I wasn't enamoured of what I was up to right then.
I think my big challenge right now is getting myself out of the hobbyist, I-dance-for-fun! brain and into the professional I-show-up-for-work-every-day-no-matter-what brain.
I've been reminding myself that just because you find something tough, it doesn't mean that it's not for you. It just means it's tough, and that's ok.
Last week I completed 17 hours of dance practice, and I am damn proud of myself. Hurrah! Forward Ho!