The dance world my inner self desires.

How do you be your true authentic self in a world where it is increasingly easy to over identify with a persona. As a dancer, your competition or on-stage persona expresses something that resembles aspects of yourself in relation to the dance world. 

There is growing awareness amongst ballroom dancers that striving for authenticity in practice and performance allows for their truest form of expression and presents a persona closely tied with their personality. Ok great, but how do we define ourselves in relation to the dance world? This will have an impact on the way we shape our lives and give meaning to our dancing.

The relational pause caused due the social distancing measures means that you are confronted with all aspects of your (dancing) selves, maybe without the external objects to which meaning is attached? Dancing has given you your sense of purpose, and along with your well-crafted persona, you frame your lives accordingly.

Who are you now? What are the existential implications without your normal dancing lives? What is your shadow side trying to tell you? As dancers, interaction with others (partner, audience, coaches, fellow competitors, family, friends, and romantic partners) forms the basic building blocks of our personalities. You are constructed of dynamic internalized relationships between self and object. In turn, you externalize your inner worlds onto your outside relationships, which turn again to influence your inner organization throughout your development as an artist. This endless cycle of mutual shaping and renewal creates the richness of everyday life and impacts on your relationship with your dancing. 

As we reconsider our lives, we allow for feelings of ambiguity, ambivalence and anxiety about our relationship with the dance world.  You may ask, what do you miss about the competitive dance world? What don’t you miss about it? Do you have strong, maybe opposing feelings about these objects in relation to yourself?

Allowing yourself the freedom of polarizing thoughts, feelings and emotions toward our object of desire can be uncomfortable but necessary for personal growth. You deepen your perspective, allow for mystery and move into the contemplative zone.

Unconsciously, many of you may be experiencing what Jung referred to the Individuation process. A process of psychological differentiation, having for its goal the development of the individual personality.

Perhaps your shadow behaviour has no need to act, or perhaps it’s highlighted? The shadow can be a source of emotional richness and vitality and acknowledging it can be a pathway to healing and an authentic (dance) life.

Maybe your true self is creeping out, with little interference from our formed personae.

Let it, embrace it, ask it questions. How does it want to dance?

Now is the time to redefine the dance world in relation to our self. Redefine the dance world and reclaim your inner self.


John Hamman | Ballroom Dance Coach

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