I have a new rule that I have to dance every day. It’s based on my Law of Minimums. But some days I just don’t have it in me. If I’m mired in soul-crushing despair, or buried in a design project, it’s hard to change up my inertia to jump and bounce and flow in front of the mirror.
So, tonight I danced the dance of not being able to dance. First I made lines and did leg lifts. Very bad faux-ballet. Very predictable and boring. Then I just hunched over, curling my spine, turning my feet out, an awkward cave-man with curled fingers, a vulture’s neck. I thrust, undulated, wiggled and generally did everything you’re not supposed to do in class or on the stage and definitely not with a partner.
This is the thing about dancing… you get this idea that you’re supposed to look a certain way, to make certain shapes, to be perfect. It’s like wearing shoes that are too tight. You get locked into the same movement. I noticed when I first started I was doing the same footwork I always do. As soon as I entered cave-man stage a whole new vocabulary (albeit, somewhat… gutteral) was available to me.
I’m not saying I had a breakthrough, or that I invented some new kind of dancing. I looked like crap and I did NOT want to practice. But my point is, when you practice it does not have to be perfect every time. And maybe if you break all your own rules, you’ll come up with something new. There were little moments where I actually created new movement for myself… combinations I’d never put together before. That *was* interesting.
So, even when you can’t do your thing, you should still do it.