As stated above, this post will be about respecting yourself. It’s a very straight forward statement that can be hard to live out. I find that as dancers we often don’t give ourselves the respect that we deserve. We work hard, we strive to achieve our goals, and yet we are our worst critics. We hear a compliment given to us and then discard it because we think we haven’t earned it yet. Dance is an art form in which the participants are always working to improve their abilities. However, there are three things we must remember:
- There is only one you, and trying to be anyone else would be robbing the world of the unique masterpiece that is YOU. No one has your personality, your sense of humor, your smile, your point of view, or your unique set of gifts and talents. Why be a reflection of someone else, when you could be a magnificent original?
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone is different. Everyone has a different body type, personality, strengths, and weaknesses. I bet you already know your weakness, but you probably have to think a little harder to name your strengths. If coming up with a strength is a challenge, ask a knowledgeable friend or teacher what they think your strengths are. I assure you, no one can bring to the stage what you can, because no one is you. We were not made to be copies of one another, but to shine brightly as ourselves. Nothing is more beautiful than when you are bold enough to be yourself.
- Give yourself time to see improvement happen. And allow yourself to have good and bad days. Every dancer, even the professionals, had to start at the beginning. It took them a long time to get where they are today. They also had to work past the pain, sweat, tears, and thoughts of doubt in order to achieve their dreams. Diamonds require a lot of intense heat, pressure, and time to be created. You are more valuable than any diamond and therefore should allow yourself the time to become the dancer you’re working so hard to be. Yet from a practical standpoint, if you feel that you are not improving like you should be, talk to your teachers to see what they think you could do to work towards your goals. Then give yourself time to see those improvements appear. Remember that this journey is a marathon not a sprint.
So with those three things in mind, respect yourself as the unique individual you are. There is only ONE amazing you so don’t COMPARE yourself to others and try a reflection of someone else. And give yourself time while you are working towards your goals. Valuable things take time to achieve, and you are priceless.