Ballroom Dance > What would you do if you couldn't dance?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by chomsky, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    My dear friends and companions,
    I haven't been as active as before at DF. However, I need your help so I turn to you even if it's been "long time no see" lately.
    I am at a point in my life where I guess I have no other option than to stop dancing at least for a while, I don't know for how long this will last.
    Okay, now what? My deepest fear is coming true. Things are looking really bad. What now? I always hoped I will live this dream a little longer than one and a half year; now, I will have to stop dancing to be able to live.
    If it's happened to you and you've survived this ordeal, what did you do? How did you manage? I guess I'm just looking for some comfort. I guess I have to look for it deep into me instead of asking questions but it feels less lonely when someone else shares with me the same fears and ordeals.
  2. Is this due to financial or health reasons Chomsky ?
  3. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    Financial, sorry for being so's so difficult for me to admit it you know, so hard to put it in words and see it written in front of your eyes. I've been poor all my life and there was even a time when we didn't have money to buy milk or bread. It didn't matter. Now, it does.Now I have a deep need. I shouldn't have created myself this need 'cause rich is the person whose needs are covered.
    Now I have a passion that keeps me healthy not psychologically but physically; not a day passes by without this stupid paralysis-fear from my lovely herniated disc; of course it's me and another 70% of the population with a herniated disc, I know that, but still this fear never leaves my bedside. This time, no money no dance. There are others who are now homeless here in Greece, so who am I to complain, you tell me. Still the pain, this time the emotional pain is hard to handle...That's why, once again I turned to DF, it's not the first time; I know there are people who might be compassionate and drop me a line or two.
  4. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    sorry to hear, chomsky, but i know these circumstances intimately.

    my advice: look deep within and ask yourself what it is about dancing that is so compelling, and find ways in your life to continue developing in those areas. it CAN be done.

    is it freedom of movement, the pleasure of sensation, connection with life and joy and others? all of the above? every bit of that is develop-able off the dance floor, and you can continue to evolve your physique, capacity for movement, health, vitality, and spirit...all which will ultimately transform your dancing when you are able to return.

    Dance = Life. it doesn't end when you're not on a dance carry the same qualities with you wherever you go, and movement and joyful dance is a moment away at any time, barring physical limitations.
  5. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    a 1000 thanks to you my friend!!! you are 100% true!
  6. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    you are welcome :)
  7. CANI

    CANI Active Member

    Hi chomsky!

    I don't know if this will help or hurt...I certainly don't mean to hurt...but these are my thoughts and what has worked for me.

    First, a little excerpt from a book I just read:
    A former Prisoner of War (POW), after listening to the man next to him on the plane describe his life for an hour or so, asks, "Are you in prison or free?"
    The man is surprised because he has never been in prison, never been captured during a war and so immediately responds with, "I'm free."
    The former POW responds, "Are you sure? From listening to you talk, it doesn't sound like freedom. Sounds like you have a pretty strong box around you, keeping you from being free!"
    Freedom Flight: The Origins of Mental Power by Lanny Bassham

    I don't know your circumstances, so take whatever I say with a grain of salt -- it is the theme that matters:

    First, throw away the concept "I can't dance." And replace it with the most honest answer -- the one that you know inside is the truth. It could be:

    "I am prioritizing eating over dancing, because I know/believe eating is essential to continuing life, and therefore, right now, I am choosing not to spend money on dance."
    "I have made and continue to make financial decisions that were right for me, and at this moment I don't see how I can justify spending money on dance, and therefore I won't."
    "I choose not to accept the generous offer extended by dance friends that would allow me to continue to take lessons for a time without paying, because I have faith in myself and my ability to pay for my own lessons when the time is right for me. I will always cherish and never forget these generous offers and the wonderful friends I have in dance."

    Those three may not resonnate with you, but they have and do with me. The point is -- is "I can't dance" really an honest statement when you say it quietly to yourself and then listen to how you respond to that statement? For me, it is not, and it will never be until I have explored and done everything humanly possible to have dance in my life even with whatever constraints that exist. This is not about positive talk or deluding yourself, this is about being honest with yourself -- the real you -- the powerful you that does exist.

    If you want dance in your life, decide you are going to have dance in your life. Figure out what precisely you love about dance and throw out the notion that you can't have it now -- and I mean right now. It is also ok -- and may be precisely what you want -- to choose not to have dance in your life for a time, if that is what you decide, temporarily, is best for you. The key point is -- you are in the driver's seat, you are not the passenger.

    I don't have the answers for you...and this sample list may not help you at all...some I have done, some I haven't...but the point is to get the juices flowing in your brain...only you can come up with the ideas that work for you...
    - if one of the aspects of dance you love is learning, read books about dance and the journeys of other dancers -- perhaps there is a location where you can get these books for free, such as a library or similar place.
    - if one of the aspects of dance you love is beauty, take a look at DF threads where people have posted you-tubes of top dancers, and choose to subscribe to some of those you-tube channels -- getting dance videos e-mailed to you directly for your viewing pleasure almost every day -- enjoying all that beauty of dance.
    - if one of the aspects of dance you love is learning actual dance steps, if you've taken notes from your dance lessons, explore those notes, learn, really learn those steps
    - if one of the aspects of dance you love is learning new dance steps and movement, use DF (searching old threads) to figure out reputable names in dance and search you-tube for their free lectures...there is even a DF-er (his name is escaping me at the moment) who has mentioned his web-site, which has free dance lessons on it.
    - if one of the aspects of dance you love is dancing while making friends, use the free services that are plentiful on the internet to find a way to get a whole bunch of people together to dance for a weekly social, even if you are dancing outside in a parking lot. With the right spirit and the right coordination, you can make this happen.
    - if one of the aspects of dance you love is massive groups of people getting together to enjoy dance, find out where really large dances occur in your area and volunteer. For example, there is a huge outdoor dance once a year in my area (I think it was salsa) and I went once as a paying customer. What if you found such an event, helped to coordinate it and asked if you could then attend the dance for free?
    -if you know some dance steps, teach your husband how to dance for an evening, or a bunch of friends (FYI, though, that you can't do this and compete as the am in a pro-am according to the rules in the U.S.)
    -whatever you want to do, write it down, and then freely brainstorm how to make it happen, never throwing out outlandish ideas, until you have your answer. For example, "I want to spend $200/week on dance and right now, prioritizing food and with my current thinking, I have a $0 budget for dance. Now I will come up with how I will have $200/week for dance." Then brainstrom -- and throw nothing out -- allow all the crazy notions "I like science-fiction, maybe aliens will come to earth and hand me $200."; "I can win the lottery (even though I don't play) and have my $200"; "I can start my own side business identifying a need in my community that I can fulfill, which will produce $200/week."...the reason you don't throw out any seemingly crazy ideas is because, it is just the way your brain lets the ideas flow, and you will get viable ideas from this idea will spark another...and you will find a way to get what you want...if you really want it...

    I don't have time to write more, so I'll stop here...good luck, CAN do this!
  8. Wannabee

    Wannabee Well-Known Member

    Hi Chomsky.

    I love that post by CANI. I think he/she (sorry CANI) has wonderful suggestions for keeping dance in your life. I've often thought what I would do if ever faced with your situation and to be honest, I would be devastated too. Dance becomes such a part of us, such an amazing and wonderful expression of being alive. How do you replace something like that? It would be very difficult indeed. And as CANI suggested, maybe you won't have to.

    Your post has actually inspired me, believe it or not. One of my own threads on DF was revisited and I outlined all the petty and ridiculous reasons why I didn't want to do my next showcase. I did my best to follow the suggestions that these amazing people on DF offered, and I eventually got over myself enough to continue on. But after reading your post and glimpsing the struggles that you are having with being faced with the possibility of having to give up dancing, I feel utterly embarrassed that I made such a big deal out of my issues.

    I don't have any major insight into how to ease your struggles, but I can say that anything is possible. Hang in there Chomsky. Don't give up. It will be hard work and a lot of extra effort than before to keep dancing in your life, but it can be done (as others have suggested). I'll be thinking about you. :friend:
  9. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    It is a dose of perspective isn't it Wannabee? Sometimes we forget how very lucky we are to have the opportunity to dance as we do....
  10. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    chomsky, I can empathize with your feelings about having to stop dancing. I think all of us who have a passion for dance know what it would mean to us to "lose" it. But I echo both samina's and CANI's sentiments of; taking the passion you have found in dance and finding where it lives in other areas of your life if need be, and knowing that we make our choices and control our direction in life.

    I stopped dancing for almost 15 years when I came out of college, my priorities were to be financially secure which meant putting all my focus on my career. Unfortunately it meant that dancing could not be a part of my days. I survived to come back to the dancing later in life after achieving my other priorities...but during that time I did not do without that passion that was most felt and loved in dance. It simply had to take a different form.

    Like sam mentioned, I found what I loved about dance in my work and everyday life....the challenge, the creativity, ways to express my soul, a closer connection to myself through other avenues of life (hiking), etc. It might not have been as joyful as how I felt it in dance, but I kept growing and I knew someday I would be back.

    I know it doesn't sound like a lot of consolation as you mourn the loss of something you love, but remember what sam said "dance = life", we love it because it inspires us to be alive, to be in the moment and fully connected with ourselves and others; to express ourselves.

    Find a way to continue the progress you've made in dancing both mentally and physically.

    If you can, continue in some form of dance, be it social dancing, another form of dancing (perhaps a local college has free dance classes?), self study in ballroom, etc.

    I hope that you will take comfort that many of us have had to face the same challenges...if you want it, dance will always be there in some form or other in your life. And you'll find a way back to it if that is what you truly want....

    Keep in touch chomsky....we're here if you need to "talk".
  11. neakor

    neakor New Member

    code, code, code, and more code...
  12. It's not all or nothing. I know an older lady living off pensions who gets up and dance at her community centre every Sat paying $5 for years.
  13. Zhena

    Zhena Well-Known Member

    I echo the other comments.

    Dancing is just movement to music. You can continue to dance, even if you can't afford the more expensive aspects of your usual dance experience at the moment. Don't cut yourself off from everything ... do what you can afford and enjoy it to the fullest!
  14. ktia85

    ktia85 Member

    I agree with the others.

    I know in my community we have a lot of different social events throughout the city that costs anywhere from $5-$15, which usually includes a group class. There are a lot of opportunities that you can explore.
  15. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    I agree with the postings. Chomsky, you can dance to music in your living room... that is free! You can mimic dancers on youtube sites or ballroom dance sites, review the technique and steps you already know, focus on learning music and timing, etc, etc. You can enjoy just watching dance clips from competitions if you physically can't dance right now. I know of a few dancers who had to take a few months off due to physical injuries. They came back to dance, and I am sure you will too.
  16. Gorme

    Gorme Active Member

    You can also ask the studio where you current study if they have any work that you can assist with. Whether it's as an assistant or desk work, etc. to keep yourself in that environment without having to spend any extra money. You get access to their floor and can dance any time you want.
  17. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    good recommendation Gorme!!
  18. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Guys, just FYI on these suggestions: remember this is Greece. Economically, even the cheap options may not be feasible (or exist.) And depending on whether she is at all reliant on the bankrupt/disintegrating social safety net, it might not be a question of buying ramen for dinner instead of steak to save for lessons as literal 'stay under a roof and have food to eat every night or dance.' I don't think many people get quite how serious the country's situation is.

    Chomsky, what is it you love about dancing? If it's the music, you can still listen to dance music. You can dance by yourself, for yourself (I confess to being a living-room dancer, and I don't mean really practicing.) If it's the companionship, maybe Gorme's suggestion is most feasible, if you're able to work and the studio/venue is willing? Being the receptionist at my old studio helped me not just with the money but with being around people who were dancing.
  19. Gorme

    Gorme Active Member

    If it's really as bad as I read in the news, there are businesses where they can't even pay their employees their wages? Along with working at the studio, depending on how lenient they are, they may even let you sleep at the studio.
  20. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Funnily enough I just met a new student at the studio who is originally from Greece and wound up talking with her for a while after our respective lessons. One thing she mentioned in passing was how people are burning buildings and destroying things in the riots there and how they're only hurting themselves's not good there right now.

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