In dance there is something that I’d like to call the “sweet spot”…
It’s the moment when the dance routine has fully been ingrained into your body; so much so that you can actually enjoy the dance. If you’ve ever danced at a club or in your own room, think of the complete freedom and joy that you have in that moment. Couple that with being able to dance a sick choreography and that’s what the sweet spot is like. This “sweet spot” moment is what I long for every time I go to my hip-hop class .
Recently I had an interesting discovery about myself during one of my classes…
One night we were learning an awesome choreography….
A beautiful mixture of rigid and fluid movements that brought you low to the ground and added some calculated stop and flow positions on each beat. I loved it and couldn’t wait till I could learn it all so that I can get to that sweet spot . But on this particular night I wasn’t getting it.
As I continued trying to learn each new section of the choreography I felt like I was getting worse. As the pressure within me was building to try to learn the dance, a mad dance of another kind was occurring in my head in the form of two voices. One voice was big, loud, and deafening as it screamed “YOU SUCK” at every mistake I was making. The other was sharp and sly and was whispering to me to move faster and pressuring me to do better. These two horrible voices in my head were like two beats from a horrible dance song which I tried desperately to “dance” through without feeling depressed. All this while trying to learn the real dance choreography I was trying to learn. Alas the class ended and all I had left was the bitterness of looking at the dance floor.
What sort of thoughts or feelings come to you when you can’t get what you want?
For me this mental dance during this particular night is usually what comes about in other places in my life when I can’t get what I want. It’s this mixture of negativity between “you can’t do this” and the “come on! you GOT to do this!”. Its like the feeling when you want to be with that one girl but you are too scared, that grade you didn’t receive cause you made that one mistake, and that one job opportunity you didn’t get if only you had said the right thing in the interview. It’s that feeling that says “ITS ALL YOUR FAULT.”
While in the car that mental dance of guilt and blame was still going on in my head. That terrible mixture where you are mad that you couldn’t do it AND your frustrated at the fact that you are mad at yourself.
The dance continues.
As my foot kept pushing harder at the gas pedal, another voice suddenly popped in my mind with a completely different beat. A third rhythm that invited me to a smoother and calmer mentality. The movements that invited me away from the deafening sounds of the two voices which I didn’t realize to me until then was almost more comfortable to dance to despite how hurtful they are to me. The lyrics in this third calmer beat just repeated over “The more your run away, the more the voices get louder”
In this season of my life I’ve been challenged to engage the demons in my head and heart, rather than run away.
Engaging is a tough thing because you have to face those tough voices and speak truth to yourself. But I’ve found that the more I try and engage my fear the more I find that this self-hate dance is a lie. And the reward is that I can grow, I can accept my flaws, my mistakes, SO THAT I can become better.
As I parked my car I decided to go straight to my backyard and dance the choreography I couldn’t master. If there is so much energy in me that seeks to bring me down then surely I can use that energy for something better to satisfy both my craving to be better and to not give up. As I danced in that cold backyard, I could taste a hint of that sweet spot I was searching for.
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All photos taken by my wonderful friend Daniel Hoffman!!