The Question Every Dancer Should Ask

The Question Every Dancer Should Ask

As I’m writing this, my students are about to step into a fresh new school year. There are a lot of ideas coming into the semester from their summers spent dancing and living life all over the world. All of the energy the semester starts off with is the best and feels great in the body, mind, and spirit. 

That being said, the energy often doesn’t last through to winter break. I say this with me in mind as much as them. Homework gets overwhelming, rehearsals start taking up a lot of time, lessons are being learned from overcommitting, choreographers are being made, and injuries…(unfortunately) happen. As a dance teacher there is one question I always ask my students in my beginning to advanced technique classes. Honestly, we should ask this question as teachers and choreographers as well.  

Why? Why are we doing what we are doing?

It seems like a common sense thing to ask, but we often don’t ask ourselves why after we’ve made the decision to go in a direction with our time and resources. Since I teach multiple levels of collegiate dance, I often have a wide range of students take my technique classes from math majors to theater to the typical dance major. I encourage my students to go deeper than ‘because I have to.’ Why, though? If you are an academic major, will dancing provide a new level of creativity and play that you would otherwise not find during the day? Even more importantly, what is your reason if you are a dance major or someone running after a dance career?

What about after you ask yourself ‘why’? Sit down and write it out! When you get to the middle of the semester and you are tired and maybe even a little broken (ugh, that dang ankle) take your ‘why’ notes back out. Remind yourself of why you are doing this. Maybe you are focusing on a career in creative entrepreneurship and have no desire to be in a ballet class. However, you remember that learning this language will give you a common vocabulary with the dancers you will work with ten years down the line. Your why will give you just a little bit more drive when you reflect on where you are heading. You create your future by the choices you make today. 

If you are interested in reading a little bit more about your why, I highly suggest Start with Why by Simon Sinek. Leave a comment below with your why behind your dance journey! I would love to hear it.


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Zaneya, I love the idea of your big picture why and the seasonal why. It reminds me of the overall mission statement we talked about last semester too. Great food for thought! thanks! :-D


I do have a stable why.. but i also feel i have a why for every semester. Fro example, my stable why is my Creative Art Movement. But my unstable why that can be anything. It could be to learn a language for my dancer or it could be to have confidence in my gift or even to push myself to know i can do this with God by my side. Its a weird way of thinking but very rewarding.


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