There’s another dimension to dance that is rarely discussed as an essential component of dancing if it’s discussed at all. It’s an unseen part of dancing and I don’t mean something backstage, in the wings: although it is present always and is involved in all aspects of study and performance. I’m talking about what goes on in our minds and hearts when we dance. What are we thinking about the dance that we are doing and about ourselves as dancers? How do we feel about the dance and about ourselves? Our emotions and our thoughts drive this beautiful body and inform the shapes we make with our bodies. Our thoughts and emotions are the core of what energy we generate and fill the studio or theater with. They drive us and our bodies to make amazing art. In short, this is a super important aspect of who dancers are and how happy or unhappy they are. Not to mention how successful they are and how captivating they are to watch – but let’s stop at happy because that is reason enough to put our attention on the inner world of the dancer. We all want to be happy.
Perhaps this all sounds too obvious and surely, dancers are always at work on this aspect of themselves whether they are conscious of it or not. But the point is to make it conscious because the more light we shed on this mental/emotional dimension of dance, the more effective and healthy it becomes and we as dancers can use it to our advantage – to know ourselves, to be happy, and to be fulfilled as dancers.