Throughout the last week or so, our freshman class has been focusing on dance wellness. When first told that we would be taught about “wellness” I was not sure what to expect, but I was excited to learn. We had lectures on flexibility and strength, posture structure and choice, mapping the body, and nutrition and body image. Some of the information was new to me, and some I had heard before, but what I took away from all of these different lectures was that we (as humans) have the ability to change.
Change just takes time and practice. This week I gained tips on how to improve my flexibility, the strength of my stabilizer muscles, the connection to my inner and outer self, awareness of my bone structure, my eating habits, and my mentality towards body image. That is a lot of tips for improvement in one week, and listing them all seems kind of daunting. However, one of the most important things that I learned was that all of these changes are doable, and that they are important in keeping a healthy mind and body as a dancer. It will just take time to incorporate this kind of practice into my daily life.
Creating a healthy instrument for a lifetime of dancing is a constant practice. It is something that I personally have to work at (and be conscious of) all the time. From here, with my knowledge of all that can be done to improve healthy habits, I have to ask myself: how much do I want to change? And what specifically do I want to work on? In answering these questions, and it will take time to self-analyze, I can then ask: what do I have to do to make these changes? This series of questions is still something that I have to think through. What is clear to me is that in order to make improvements, I have to schedule my day differently than I do now. I would like to get into the routine of spending more time working stabilizing muscles as well as flexibility, and I am trying to work some self-guided somatic practices into my weeks. These are the areas of wellness that I feel need the most work. Therefore, they will be the hardest to incorporate into my daily routine. Like Holly taught us in our body image lecture, we will have to work through the less traveled and metaphorical path with a machete, but after a while the path will become easier to walk down. I have been inspired by this last week of wellness teachings to work hard towards self-improvement. I know that it might not be the easiest path, but given time I can create a routine that continually benefits my dancer lifestyle.