Learning to Dance Fearlessly
Fear. It rules our lives, keeping us contained within the limits of what we have decided is possible for ourselves. Fear can drive us to be stronger then we ever knew we could be, but it can also suck the energy from our bodies, numb our minds, and broadcast RUN, RUN, RUN!! until we can’t think of anything else. And fear can take our gift of dancing, and prevent us from sharing it with anyone else, for fear they will not appreciate it as we do, or will judge us for not being good enough.
I can say this, speaking as someone who has been there, sometime still is there, despite all my years of dancing, despite being a paid professional. But in the process of going from a newcomer to a fully-competent dance teacher, I learned a great deal about fear and how it can be controlled. I still feel the fear, every bit as much as I did years ago, but it not longer rules my actions. I hope I can pass some of what I’ve learned on to you, to instil the belief that you can train your brain and body to feel the fear… And do it anyway.
Story of Our Lives
Anyone who has tried to reminisce about a past event with friends or family knows that each person remembers things very differently from everyone else. The event doesn’t change, our perception of the event, which is shaped by our thoughts and expectations is what is different. This isn’t mysticism; it’s proven psychology.
Jim Carey once said: ‘Our eyes are projectors that run a second story in front of the picture that we see in front of us all the time. Fear is writing that script. And the working title is, “I’ll Never be Enough.”’
If we want to change the story, the first thing we must realize is that IT IS JUST A STORY. Our actions and reactions in our daily lives might seem to be prewritten, but that’s only because we’re used to staying within the responses that feel safe and comfortable.
Chances are you choose to dance because some part of you knows your story can be a happier one. How happy is largely determined by how much you avoid letting the perceived opinions and judgements of other people determine how you are going to live your life.
Before we can delve into that however, we need to understand how our fear works, why it is able to paralyze us, and how we can start to realize a better way. See you next week.
About the Author
Ian Crewe has been dancing ballroom for almost 20 years, and has a Licentiate in American smooth and rhythm. His passion for dance and his endless seeking for ways to reach new audiences eventually led him to blogging and the World Wide Web. Ian currently teaches at the Joy of Dance Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.