Hi everyone, I swear I'm not back from the dead, I just had a month of personal issues and stress that is starting to ebb away, so I'm back! And I'm talking about attitudes, positive and negative, that influence our dancing.
First things first - negative attitude. Having a negative, competitive, destructive energy is going to affect both the way you dance and the way others feel and dance. Have you ever noticed that one sour mood can ruin a whole room of positivity (or at least neutrality)? Just one person, one offhand remark can bring everyone down. But first, before you even say anything, a negative attitude will become a part of who you are if you let it go on long enough. Thinking "gosh that girl looks so good in her leotard, why can't I look that good?" one day can lead to bad self image, unhealthy eating habits, and possibly eating disorders (which I'm sorry to admit are a big part of the dance world). Not just destructive to physical image, but thinking negatively about your dancing can halt improvement in your dancing and can even cause you to get worse because you stop working hard. Leave whatever life problems you have at the door and work hard for yourself in the studio, but instead of letting a negative perfectionist attitude influence your self image and energy levels, let your strive for perfection motivate you towards all of your dancing goals.
Rather the contrary, a positive attitude will boost your motivation, inspiration, and rate of improvement. You'll be more receptive to constructive criticism and will work harder to train good qualities into your body. The mirror and your fellow dancers will be your friends, not the competition. Just like one sour comment can ruin someone's mood, one compliment can boost someone's mood and motivation. If you notice someone doing really nice pirouettes or really killing that hard combination, be sure to let them know! Giving a compliment will not only give the person positive reinforcement that they are on the right dance track, but will also make both of you happier. Make a goal to give one compliment each class: you might be surprised with what amazing things you see in other people. If you watch other dancers with a critical eye not to judge but to improve yourself, you will improve more, be mentally and physically healthier, and in general be happier with your dancing and yourself. Who doesn't want to be happier? Dance is your friend, and when it or any aspect of it becomes your enemy, it is time to either stop or make a change. If you love dance, then make a change for the better.