Hard Truth

Hard Truth

People have bad days. We have days when we are not able to accomplish our goals. We might not even be able to live up to our usual potential. We all have those days. You know what I’m talking about. Yes, you. But anyway, most of the time, we just push past it. It’s normal. We just have to snap out of it, right? Well, it’s different for dancers. The dancer’s body kinda has a mind of its own. Especially as an adult dancer. I have days when I can’t do pirouettes, even after I’ve checked myself, brushed up my technique, and taken breaks. I would kill myself in the studio trying to get it right but I don’t get it. Reality check, when your body is not into it, it’s not. This is usually common with people who started late. I started late. My body is still trying to accept the changes. Trying to push past it will just be bad news for me. I’ve had days when I’d execute 4 clean pirouettes, even 5 and then the next day, I’m falling out of the preparation for the pirouettes.

There are usually two reasons why this happens. The first is what I already talked about. People just have bad days. It’s normal. The most trained dancers have fallen out of pirouettes or they’ve gotten a technique wrong. It happens. The best dancers have days when they’re trying to dance gracefully and their bodies are as heavy as building blocks. It’s very common in the dance world . However, the second reason is a painful truth, lack of proper/ fundamental training. This hits home. I had always feared that being self taught would come back to haunt me. I just didn’t know how soon it would be.

As the year began, I noticed that my body hadn’t really been following along. I assumed it was another bad day so I dismissed it. But it became a frequent thing. How many bad days could one person have? It was happening a lot. The sad truth that I chose to ignore was coming to haunt me. Most times, I wouldn’t get an extension properly in the studio, or I would fall out of my pirouettes. The days I would execute clean moves, my fingers would be crossed, I would be scared because I didn’t know whether I was going to get it right or not. My ability to accurately score or execute a routine was left strictly to chance. That’s no way to be a dancer. The truth was creeping in on me. One of my biggest fears was coming true.

Being a professional dancer has been a dream of mine. Yet, I just dived into it, didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I wasn’t aware of the progressive training required. How can I be a professional dancer with this hurdle?

I’d often try to score routines in videos because that’s how I learn. It would be harder because I skipped the basic training needed to achieve those routines. When I started to notice this truth, I didn’t want to admit it, I’d blame it on my tiredness or having a bad day, but I knew what was wrong. I would cry a whole lot because of how much I need to do. Intermediate routines that I should be able to execute would be harder because I jumped right into intermediate training, all by myself.

I started to push myself harder than ever. Doing a lot more than my body could take. I would stretch past my limit, force my body to get the ‘training’ it needed in a day, or in a week. It was a lost cause. I only caused myself more harm. I got injured, I was even more tired than usual and I was neglecting the most important factor needed for improvement. Time. I was starting to accept the truth.

Because, I catapulted myself into being an intermediate dancer, I felt the need to correct that and overcome the hurdle. Don’t get me wrong, I have greatly improved. I remember where and how I started and I am just in awe with how much I’ve grown. However, I didn’t grow properly and it’s starting to show. If I don’t make changes soon, I’d come to regret it later….

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Ijeme Bare