May 2, 2015 by Nicole
Sometimes you just need a break. When you intensely focus on something, even something you intensely love like dance, it’s really beneficial to take a break. Sometimes that means just a physical break where you take some time off to rest, and sometimes that means a complete break – where you walk away for a little while, think about other things, try out other things and then come back, refreshed and replenished, ready to start again.
That’s where I am. For the past 8 months, I’ve been taking a dance break. During that time, I’ve gotten married, launched the biggest project of my professional career and completed my 200-hour yoga teacher certification. I’ve still been thinking and (obviously) writing about dance during this time, but I’ve taken a break from class.
Why? Well, to some extent, I needed to! With so many major life events going on, I needed to find some time to rest. Additionally, as an adult student of dance, I wanted to take a little time to reassess my goals and desires for my dance education, and I felt that taking myself out of the class environment to do so would give me a little additional perspective.
When I was a young dancer, I never took breaks – I was always looking for more time to dance. And it was because I was afraid. I was afraid if I stopped, if I took a break, I would be surpassed by my peers. I would fall behind where I’d worked so hard to get….I let my fear drive me. I now wonder if that was actually to my detriment. I danced through a lot of injuries that I think could have maybe been prevented if I was taking more care of my mind and body. I also wonder how much better my dancing could have been if I’d taken time off to refuel my passion rather than insisting on running on fumes until injury forced me to rest.
So, now I take breaks. I check in with myself and make sure that I’m putting my time and energy into my training in ways that feel healthy, productive and balanced. And I have to say, I’m more energized than ever to be back at the barre – I can’t wait to get back into class.
Hopefully, I’ll see you there soon!