Hey my beautiful dancers! This is a message from your dance teacher…
Right now, I want to talk about confidence. Our confidence is with us every day, so we really should take the time to understand it. As dancers, our confidence is even more important to us. It’s what makes us leap a little higher, try that new acro trick full out, perform our choreography like we are the center of the show. I want to talk about it because as dancers our confidence doesn’t always come naturally, but because we are dancers we need to make sure we have it and loads of it! So let’s figure out together, what exactly confidence is, what it does for us as dancers and what we can work on to get more of it.
Confidence is what we believe of ourselves. It is knowing what you are capable of and pushing yourself to reach the goal you have set for yourself. We all have this image we see of ourselves, self-image it’s called. This plays a super big part in our confidence. It’s all about how you see you. Now this may seem a little lame and you might want to roll your eyes at me, but I want you to do me a favor. This is going to help you later on as we talk a little more about building your confidence. I want you to look in the mirror at yourself and think about YOU. Don’t think about your appearance, if your hair is good or your clothes are cute. No, I want you to look into your own eyes and think about who you are. This my dancing friends is your self image. When you see yourself as someone who can do the things you want to do, you will find yourself more willing to try harder, practice more and not give up on yourself.
As dancers I KNOW you have been told to never say “I can’t”. Ever wonder why us dance teachers absolutely HATE those two little words mixed together? Well, I’m going to tell you. It means that you have already decided that you simply will never be able to do what we are asking you to do, without even giving yourself a chance. Now, imagine this, I want you to think back to dance class and think of a time where you looked me, or another teacher, in the eye and told us “I can’t”. I believe that in that exact moment you felt scared of what we were showing you. You were nervous to try in front of everyone else, thinking that they must already be better than you and you were never going to be as good. So, you told yourself that you couldn’t do it, and then your body believed you. You didn’t even give yourself a chance! You became frustrated, maybe even a little upset and suddenly dance class wasn’t as fun for you that day. So, let’s change this memory a little bit. Go back to that moment and imagine you didn’t feel scared or nervous about learning this new step. You just went for it, listening to what your teacher suggested. First, if you were in my class you saved yourself some push-ups. But more than that you let your mind think that you had a chance! So, you probably still wouldn’t have been perfect the first try or even the second or third try. But this time, you let your mind think you could do it eventually! And because of that you actually heard your teacher when they told you what to work on. Then, you practiced until suddenly you were amazed that there was a time when you weren’t able to do it. This my dancing friends is what a little bit of confidence in yourself can do! Imagine what you could be capable of if you simply believed you could? Now that we all want all of the confidence in the world, let’s work on some things to build up ourselves.
First, let’s go back to the beginning when I asked you to look into the mirror. Think of three things you love about you. This could be anything from your trend setting fashion sense to your epic math skills. I want you to write these on a sticky note and put them somewhere you can see them every single day. I don’t want you to ever forget how you feel about these things, because you have confidence in them! Think you’re a great reader? Fantastic, write it down and remember how you feel about that. As a fantastic reader, if your teacher handed you at long book to read you wouldn’t say “I Can’t”. No, you are going to take that reading challenge and show off those reading skills! Hold on to that feeling, cause now you’re going to have to use it for something you’re not as comfortable with.
Look back at that mirror. Tell yourself three things your simply not good at. Three things that you would have no problem never doing again if you had the chance. Again, this can be anything. Math skills not so epic? Maybe you don’t like to talk to new people, or be in front of large crowds? Whatever it is that you’re thinking of, I want you to write them down as well. Now we are going to work at these things. Since I’m not a math teacher, I can’t teach that. But what we can learn is how to feel more confident doings these things and not to be so afraid of trying them. All I want you to do with these things that you’re not confident in is to try to change how you think about them. Don’t be afraid of them. Don’t tell yourself that you can’t or won’t. Think more like, I may not be great at it yet, but I am going to work at it until I am great! See what you did there? You changed how you thought about it. If you want to be confident in yourself you have to believe that you can do things that may not be as comfortable as you want right away. It feels strange and scary at first, but if you go for it, practice it, learn it and practice it more you not only can do it, you WILL do it!
Dancing is a great place to start working on your confidence. If you want to be a better dancer, you have to believe that you CAN be a better dancer. Take the time to let yourself learn, practice, fail and try again. There isn’t a single dancer out there who woke up one day and was great all on their own! It takes years of training and hard work. What these professionals do have is confidence that they can succeed. They believe that they can do it, so they prove that they can do it. Know that you can do this too. Don’t be afraid to fail because failure isn’t the end. Let failing be the reason why you try again. Let it be the reason why you try harder and practice more. Don’t let the fear of doing new things stop you from having fun trying! Have the confidence, the belief in yourself that you can do it until you do accomplish it. I promise you won’t regret it. It’s an amazing feeling my dancing friends.
Now get out there and meet me on the dance floor with the confidence I know you have!