We have all seen ballet dancers glide swiftly across the stage, executing every step with such precision and grace. They balance on tiny tippy toes like it’s the easiest movement in the world. Every move is thought out and practiced until they reach the closest thing to perfection. Often before rehearsal, a ballet class begins with routine exercises performed while the dancers hold on to a bar for balance. In a sense, perhaps we are all like dancers needing at times to regain our balance before dancing our way through the day.
Ballet is thought of as the most disciplined and challenging form of dance. Like most endeavours, success proves elusive without hard work, sacrifice and perseverance. Achieving success in our lives is similar; challenging and not without effort. However, all this work needs to be balanced with other aspects of our lives, even when it is work we enjoy. Perhaps, like dancers, we need a place to return to and regain our balance. Family and friends act as a balancing bar for many of us, keeping us focused and on track.
Dancers put physical, emotional and mental stress on themselves to be the best. They place everything on the line and engage all parts of themselves to dance, not just their bodies. Every day we do that too, by attending to many things simultaneously, becoming overwhelmed and exhausted. How do we combat the stress? Perhaps we can try to keep a balance by returning to things that fill us up, emotionally, physically and mentally. It could be anything, from hobbies to meditation or spending time with friends and family. Some ballet dancers cut loose by doing a different type of dance, one less disciplined and less technical.
One certainty about dance is that it invigorates you, giving you a zest for life. When dancers lose their passion, they often ask themselves why they became dancers in the first place. Self reflection leads to sifting through the frustration and stress to rediscover that same love for dance again. When becoming jaded about your profession, it can help to remember why you chose your particular path in the first instance.
Balance allows dancers to move with the rhythm of the music. In life, balance allows us to go with the flow of events and unexpected situations, rather than resist them. However, some of us feel uncoordinated and clumsy dancing, as we do in life, but a lot of the time technique is not the most important thing. You could have a great technical dancer who delivers a dull performance because their heart isn’t in it. It’s the same for people, they may exude success yet seem sad or unfulfilled because they lack passion and purpose. We’ve all watched a performance where the dancer is thinking too much and it shows on their face. A ghost performance, it is both uninspiring and emotionless.
It is much better to feel from your heart when dancing, rather than think with your head all the time. The same can be said for life.
Losing balance can see you falling out of step with those around you and bumping into things you would have seen if you were focused. Maintaining balance allows you to deal with things better by regaining your composure and posture easily. This can only happen if you have a strong foundation and remember to have some time out once in a while. Even professional dancers take time off to recharge and rest.
Watching a dance performance is inspiring, it makes you feel alive and wish you could move in the same way. Witnessing a life well lived is very similar, you want to live like that too; you want to move with joy and inspire others. By regularly tending to the aspects of our lives that help us maintain balance, we will be able to move through our days with all the grace of a gifted dancer.