When I am choreographing a song, I have a number of goals: 1) I want the movement to express the music. 2) I want it to be fun. 3) I want it to be easy enough so that anyone can do it without too much of a learning curve, yet be challenging enough for my regulars. And 4) I also want the movement to cause a really good sweat.
Sometimes I’ll put pressure on myself to make the dance combinations more complex because I’m afraid that my class is losing steam. So instead of allowing the music to lead me, I feel “pushed” by my fear to create something that is different than what would come naturally to me. I actually ignore what feels right because I’ve convinced myself that it’s not good enough. When this happens, I am reaching for movement that does not make sense with the music or with my goals.
On the other hand, if I relax and trust, the music will take me on a ride that allows me to accomplish my goals. I will be led to choreography that makes sense and fulfills my objectives.
That feeling of pushing is very real. It feels like I am out of synch with myself. It is actually quite stress-inducing. And generally it doesn’t end well.
Being led feels to me like quiet, calm, and loving direction.
In my life, I realize that I can do the same sort of thing when I am having a fit of feeling incompetent. In that state, I think a particular situation should look a certain way, so I’ll structure a path to get where I think I ought to be. I feel pushed by my anxiety. And the path is constructed by fear, which is not any path I really want to be on.
Being led is like having the path appear one step at a time. I don’t know what’s going to be at the end of that path, but I tell myself that it could be something I’ve never dreamed of.
I had a painful experience with a loved one, when I had to follow my instincts and just let go. I was “forced” to do this because I had done everything that I could imagine and nothing changed the situation. I had hit the wall. I simply had to stop scaring myself about what could happen if I truly released this person. So I took the path one step at a time, trusting each individual step and not knowing how it was going to look at the end of it all. It was hard, but the outcome turned out to be more than I could have hoped for.
Now if only I could trust, every day, without having to hit the wall first. (I’m working on it.)
When you trust the little steps, the big leaps take care of themselves.
And every really good leap uses momentum from the smaller steps before it.
Trust the music.
One step at a time.