Trust is a strange thing. Trust is easier when things are measurable, tangible, and describable. What happens when what you seek is none of these? What if it is a feeling? What if what you seek is a journey with no destination?
I have been seen sometimes as someone who changes direction often. My problem with this thought is it is true and it is a sign of insight rather than flakiness. I think this is my strongest attribute because I am okay with abandoning a pathway if there is an obvious better choice. It’s not that I am sitting around admiring the greener grass across the fence line. Rather, should more information come across my path that advises my instincts to change direction, I try not to be too proud to abandon what I for sure thought was the best way.
How does this apply to dance? If you grew up being part of a certain dance genre and group, you may only know a limited amount about dance. Since that is what you know, you will assume it is truth, and because you love it, you believe that this is the best thing for you. However, once you start being exposed to different ideas within that genre or even concepts in other genres, you may be informed that what you thought was the best for you is no longer. You may discover what you studied for so many years no longer serves you, even if you are outstanding at it. You may discover that a new technique broadens your body’s access to movement and freedom. You may discover that someone you worshipped and studied under, no longer serves you either because someone else inspires you more, pushes you harder, or just fits better with the new information you have accessed.
There is nothing wrong with taking a little sabbatical from what you already know and start exploring what you don’t. The best thing I find is going to something intimidating e.g. a workshop with people who know so much more than you who maybe able to process the received information into their body faster than you. Taking a genre you know nothing about and maybe don’t even see anything admirable in it. Any training we are able to get our hands on will inform our future dancing. It informs our body of a new methodology, creates movement from a different place than we are used to, and explores concepts from a strange perspective not previously considered.
I find when I start trusting what I know, I usually get knocked on my butt by something that blows my foundation out from beneath me. Because I am aware that this changes me faster than anything else, I seek these opportunities to break what I think I know. It is scary each time I do this – that never seems to go away. However, that fear is so invigorating because it makes me want to chase my dreams so much faster. I know that there is no pot of gold or ultimate destination in my career. I have to enjoy the chase along the way, admire the rainbow of possibilities, and be present so that I can look back and know that it was worth it.