– posted by Maria
After taking a private lesson, attending a particularly thought-provoking workshop, or getting feedback on your dancing, you might feel broken. As in, suddenly nothing is working properly any more. Habits you had drilled into your brain and body suddenly fly out the door. You forget how to anchor. You forget how to triple step. You forget how to walk…
For example, I’ve recently been working on my hands/fingers (yes, really), and find that when I’m practicing with that in mind, I can barely think about following let alone any other technique, and certainly not any styling!
Well, I write this simply to give you permission to break. To let you know that it’s a normal part of the learning process – because a big part of learning is UNlearning, and that messes with the brain. We ALL experience the breakage when we’re making adjustments to technique or focusing on something new. In fact, if you don’t break now and then, you won’t become stronger.
If you do feel broken, keep working at it – it means that your brain is making the changes! I also advise you not to go it alone. Talk about it! Let your dance partner(s) know that you’re working on some new things and you might not be fully yourself yet. Go back to your coach now and then to check in and ensure that what you’re practicing is actually correct – because practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes PERMANENT.
And…enjoy the journey! If you’re working in earnest and practicing correctly, you will most certainly emerge from your “broken” phase a better dancer!