I can relate.
It seems the easiest thing to do is put the task off. But ultimately the deadline approaches, and we have to face the challenge.
I was recently commissioned to create a virtual dance class as part of an exciting online dance program. A virtual dance class designed for all to experience the pure joy of moving.
I immediately said yes to the invitation but as the date approached, I thought, oh crap, what am I going to do?
I struggle with virtual learning and this Covid pandemic continues to be a wonderful opportunity to embrace and practice online learning. I’ve witnessed the dance community create amazing virtual space for dance, but I had NO idea how this was going to happen for me.
Like so many times before I was starting with a blank canvas. Every show, book, article, dialogue etc. starts with an idea and the only way to make things happen is to START.
The first adjustment needed was to my mindset. The inner dialogue was going crazy, and it wasn’t good. “I haven’t been teaching dance class. Who would see this? What did I want to convey?” So many questions.
I finally got an email with the date the video needed to be completed and I started twirling ideas around in my mind. For me, the process of creating anything starts long before I sit down to write, dance, or choreograph. I am busy creating in my mind throughout my daily activities, in the shower, in the gym, and while I am chanting etc.
On a mission to just get things done I said O.K., I can do this. I also reminded myself it did NOT have to be perfect, I just had to get it DONE.
An imperfect finished product creates much more value than an overthought, un-completed project.
I went back into teacher mode. Since I don’t drive and getting to an actual studio is a challenge, I decided to just record a pandemic-friendly living room class. After all, we are still doing a lot of this until things can safely open again.
A few interesting things happened. I clicked back into that part of myself that simply knows how to teach a dance class.
Once my anxiety was out of the way and I was in ‘Go’ mode I became more confident.
I found a song I liked.
I set up my phone to film with a ring light. I moved my dining room table, and I instantly had my own home studio space. The initial take was rough but as I got going, the groove started. I realized the first song I picked was not the best choice, so I found a better fit for this assignment. (Take note we can change things mid-stream).
It took a few tries, but my experience and insight came flooding in and I got going. I was able to incorporate my own physical limitations as part of the process. I encouraged my potential viewers to do what feels good and If they miss a step, as I did a couple of times, to just keep dancing until they picked the choreography back up (good life advice, miss a step, just keep going until you get back in your groove.)
I had completed the video at exactly the requested time. I did do some editing for flow but did not cut any content. By the time I pressed ‘send’ I had a true sense of accomplishment. I had spent some mental angst over this process when I was asked to participate. I thought me? How? Why? I don’t have a studio or any dancers at my access….
Kind of overthinking it, don’t you agree?
The moral of the story for me: Trust my life, trust my ability and capacity, trust my mission, basically trust myself minus the self-judgment.
Yes, I still prefer teaching live in person with actual students, but we are ALL adapting to the moment. It felt great to simply do what I do.
In the meantime:
‘Dance Because You Can’