Does dancing make you question who you are?

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by brujo, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. Ray Sison

    Ray Sison New Member

    That's wonderful! :cheers:
  2. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    Some occasionally call me "Tim".
  3. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    bingo. BTDT.

    this statement really had power for me, because it highlights how dance can mean different things to different people, depending on where they're coming from & what they each need for their own growth.

    dance has taught me (among many other things) to let go of being so deliberate and too patient, sensitive & cooperative, in the sense that it required me to be more fiery, raw and authentic. and in order to do that i needed to care less about others and just "be". being selfish in that sense became a value, and it had never been a priority in my life. dance brought that out and gave me more balance.

    if you are dancing to compete or to express yourself, you have to show up with something personal to express rather than subsume that out of concern for others...as had been my lifelong pattern. i'll never forget the turning point of my instructor asking me "what do you want the dance to be?", and how gob-smacked i was. i had to change in order to be the dance the way i wanted it...to even know what i wanted it to be & feel like.

    and that journey still continues...
  4. sudoplatov

    sudoplatov Member

    Dancing hasn't made me question who I am, but it has made my friends ask that question.
  5. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    and I think that is the beauty of it...it gives each of us what we need if we let it...fiery, raw and authentic has never been something I needed more of...patient and sensitive is
  6. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    yes and yes!but my husband also boosts my confidence in dancing so it goes both ways.:applause:
  7. GGinrhinestones

    GGinrhinestones Well-Known Member

    Dancing doesn't make me question who I am, but it helps me discover who I am. And, in some ways - all for the better - it has changed who I am.
  8. wonderwoman

    wonderwoman Active Member

    Yes. When I started dancing I started finding myself, for lack of a better word or phrase. It helped me learn to have fun, express myself, deal with stress, meet people, become more comfortable in my body, feel accomplished, accept criticism and praise, interact with others... Much that had been missing from my life up til then. I remember in my first month or two of ballroom lessons thinking that I felt like a kid for the first time at age 24 :)

    The phrasing of the thread title is confusing.. I don't know if we see it as making us question who we are, we see it as providing an opportunity to change and grow.. But at some point I questioned whether "who I was" was in fact the painfully shy, awkward person I'd always been. It certainly made me question what I was capable of, as it was something I'd never done before.
  9. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    this! the only difference is I discovered it at 38
  10. Ray Sison

    Ray Sison New Member

    That's so well-expressed, WW! :cheers:
  11. EternalBeginner

    EternalBeginner New Member

    Dancing for me has added some fun and happiness to my life, though I was already pretty satisfied with life (other than being single, which gets old eventually :)). But yeah, I've been having more fun because of dance. However, I was already involved with other hobbies that are both mental and physical such as juggling, so it didnt change me but it did add new fun and I've grown addicted to it. I also found a lot of music I was unaware of, due to my normal preference for obscure European music with non-danceable time signatures. :)

    However, it does sometimes bring into focus the ways that I differ from others, and it can sometimes be uncomfortable. I like who I am, but having a different approach can make others uncomfortable or frustrated.

    I socialize differently from others. I get things out of dance for different reasons than others do. I approach learning in a different way than others. I love the math of it, the history, any details. To me the goal isnt to become better so that I can just "cut loose" and relax when I dance; for me the goal is to analyze and develop and scrutinize the parts of the dance because it is interesting; I even like to scrutinize and study improvisation and muscle memory and how it interacts with things. By contrast, everyone else is like "just relax and dance". I am relaxed, thanks. :)

    Also, I sometimes like to go to a dance when I don't want to dance, but I want to watch others dance. Or I go wanting to dance but when I get there, I just feel like watching. Or I dont want to dance, but go anyway, and then dance all night. I tend to be a slave to my mood, and when I don't want to dance, I dont dance, and that can confuse people or make them think I am not having fun when actually I am, but it wasnt in a way that makes sense for them.

    So I really enjoy dancing, but it definitely highlights my differences with others. I'm lucky that my friends don't mind and/or think its funny, and those who don't understand it will still dance with me when/if I ask. :)
  12. Ray Sison

    Ray Sison New Member

    No, it does not make me question who I am. It is a fun diversion and my life does not revolve around it. It is fulfilling to be able to dance in practically any setting and feel comfortable. And it adds to the variety of life. Because of this, is does not cause any stress or pressure for me; let alone any questioning.
  13. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    contradiction

    It does, absolutely. I started dancing after being divorced. I have never danced before in my life. I started something so new. I was re-inventing myself.
  14. Ray Sison

    Ray Sison New Member

    No regrets at all. As far as what is important, dance has never been more important to me than family, friends, my studies, my work, or anything. But it has been a wonderful decoration for my life, as with other hobbies. In fact, other hobbies have seemed more important, such as seeing brand-new movies on Fridays when they debut, rather than making many Friday and Saturday night social dances...
  15. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    I have the same obsession with detail. I love watching dancers and competitions too. I never relax and enjoy, I slice dance into tiny tiny details even when I am dancing.
    The only thing I don't do is just sit. I know I can't help it when the music is on. I want to get there with those dancers or lately I don't mind being the first on the dancefloor (which I did before)...
  16. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    "So the question, good or bad, is has dancing made you question what is important to you? How has it changed you? Do you have any regrets?"

    hmmm...since I'm trying to make a living from dance...I guess it has changed me a bit...but I believe I always had dance within me...from the way I felt that I wanted to move to music from as a kid... It has helped em overcome my shyness, performance anxieties that I was already working on in other settings/situations...
  17. EternalBeginner

    EternalBeginner New Member

    Cool. I often *want* to dance every dance, but I can't control my moods. Sometimes I am in the mood to just ask anybody, but often I don't feel like interacting with strangers and quasi-acquaintances at all (meaning I recognize them but dont really know them). That is why I wish I had a regular dance partner to go with. It is nice when I have someone I totally feel comfortable around even when I'm in that weird mood where I don't want to dance with strangers. I used to have that, so I could dance as much or as little with others as my mood happened to be in. But not anymore. So its been harder recently.
  18. wonderwoman

    wonderwoman Active Member

    I've been going through something similar. I didn't really reinvent myself when I started dancing ballroom, nor was that the case a year ago when I broke in to the salsa scene and made it the biggest part of my life by far. Over the past couple months my desire to hang out with these people has died out. I made the decision to leave that scene and that is actually something that makes me question who I am. I structured my identity around dancing and now I have to create a new one.
  19. Ray Sison

    Ray Sison New Member

    WW, such is often true whenever a chapter of one's life ends. Like changing jobs or getting out of school or other significant life changes...
  20. Kipling

    Kipling New Member

    This goes for me as well, at age 51. Thank you for posting, WW.

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