The 24/7 Myth

Spring is here. I fear it won’t last for long. Summer is already poking its nose out from under the blanket of flowers that’s been draped over the city. 

There’s an idea that floats around, an idea that the way to be a “real” dancer (whatever that means) is to spend 24/7 in the studio — to live and breathe dance at all times and eschew all else. It’s an idea that haunted me through conservatory, and whose ghost still darts around my ears some days. I’ve always struggled with this idea. For a long time I thought that if I could embody the 24/7 practice that somehow it would become natural, that I would finally experience true commitment and dancerliness. Needless to say, it’s been twenty years, and this supposed epiphany still hasn’t arrived. 

Today I am firmly and consciously, once and for all, disavowing the 24/7 myth. I may be a dancer, but mostly I’m a human, and doing anything 24/7 is not good for Hannah the human. More importantly, when I am in the studio, I want to have something to dance about. And for me, that means that doing things that aren’t dancing are just as important, if not more important as the dancing itself. The contrast of the dancing and the not (if I wanted to go real crazy I could say it’s all the same, but I’ll spare you) feed each other, and without one or the other I become a very unhappy camper. I’m not saying that dancing needs to have an external subject or stimulus, but I am saying that for me, life needs more colors than those in the spectrum of the 24/7 dance mentality and I am finally owning up to it.  

Mind you, the puritan gremlin in me is trying really hard to convince me that I’m just making excuses for myself — that in fact I just don’t work hard enough, that I don’t want “it” (whatever “it” is) badly enough, that I’m lazy, blah blah blah. 

But you know what? I make my own reality, and I’m going to try living in this one for a while. 

Happy Tuesday universe.