Dance like no one is watching
Is it ever possible?
This is something I have been wondering of late. After being a performer for so many years this question has more depth than it first seems. It sounds like an ideal state to be in. It also sounds pretty easy. It sounds like you just have to do it. Put yourself in that frame of mind – free and uncaring of people’s opinions – and…… on second thoughts, that sounds a bit tricky.
Where is the joy?
Personally, my joy does not necessarily come from the performance, it comes from the doing. That can be in class, or a rehearsal, improvising or learning set works. When the performance comes, it of course adds another level, sometimes for the good – adrenaline causes me to perform in ways I had not planned for and I can often enjoy that pleasant surprise of in-the-moment choices I make.
However occasionally performing in front of people can affect me in the opposite way. I become self-conscious of what I am doing and do not enjoy the moment as much as if I were dancing with no one watching.
I have been exploring this idea recently and have had the lovely experience this week of producing my first short dance film. It was a great day full of exploring both dance and how to capture it visually.
Do we really want no one watching?
As nice as the freedom of dancing alone can be, with no one to judge, there is much joy to be had in the sharing of dance – as with many things in life. Having a witness to what we achieve gives us satisfaction. So I want to give this further consideration over the next weeks and months. On the day of filming I felt very free in my dance-making as there was no audience, just fellow creatives wanting to make a beautiful film. They were there to create with me, not to pass judgement. There was an occasional passer-by in the park, but this was not distracting to me as they barely stopped to look. They were going about their own park life business.
Freedom in confidence
Of course the idea that one can grow in self-confidence to such an extent that one can really feel free even when performing for an audience comes with practice.
The idea that you are happy with what you do, even if people are passing judgement – both good or bad – can make you free to be creative in the present and enjoy the moment. But this is a topic for another post 😉
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