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Easy methods to Hold Jealousy From Taking Over Your Dance Life


To adapt the immortal lyrics of Olivia Rodrigo, “co-comparison is killing [dancers] slowly.” No shock, when you think about what dance is: a extremely aggressive artform practiced in entrance of a mirror, shared on social media with simply in contrast stats, and set in opposition to the backdrop of a pandemic that’s inhibiting coaching and sidelining careers. Everybody (and I imply everybody) is sure to be seeing some shade of inexperienced nowadays.

So what are you able to do to deal with these exhausting emotions? How will you hold jealousy from threatening your relationships, your coaching and your psychological well being? On the flip aspect, can envy ever be embraced or leveraged that will help you enhance? We spoke with specialists to convey you the solutions to those questions and extra.

Jealousy 101

People expertise jealousy after they’re afraid of shedding one thing they worth. For dancers, that’s sometimes our place in dance (our relative rank in a bunch of dancers, our place of favor with the trainer, and so forth.). However jealousy can be triggered by other forms of loss, like when your shut pal begins spending extra time with that new dancer on the studio—and fewer time with you.

The Plus Aspect

In keeping with New York–primarily based psychologist (and former New York Metropolis Ballet dancer) Linda Hamilton, jealousy really has some advantages. For instance: Envy may be extremely motivating. “If a brand new dancer is forged in roles you felt it is best to get, you would possibly really feel jealousy,” Hamilton says. “However these emotions may be the wake-up name that tells you you’re being ignored or that your profession has stalled—and that that you must do one thing about it.” Jealousy could push you to have a dialog along with your director about what they need you to work on to be ready for these roles. You might really feel impressed to discover a new trainer to mentor you in your coaching and profession. In some situations, jealousy could even lead you to audition for different corporations that could be a greater match for you.

For Richmond Ballet’s Ira White, jealousy performed a key function in his profession. At 11 years previous, not lengthy after discovering dance by the Richmond Ballet’s outreach program Minds in Movement, White auditioned for the ballet firm’s Nutcracker. “There have been some mates of mine on the audition who have been taking ballet courses, and I might inform that they had a leg up on me when it comes to terminology and talent,” he says. “I used to be jealous of their expertise, and it pushed me to wish to take ballet courses and turn into extra assured in myself as a dancer.”

From that preliminary set off, White expanded his coaching into a wide range of genres, and in the end noticed his potential for knowledgeable profession. From the varsity at Richmond Ballet to a trainee place to a second firm contract to seven years with the primary firm, none of White’s profession targets might have been doable with out that little push from jealousy.

The Onerous Reality

After all, emotions of envy can be damaging. In keeping with Hamilton, in the event you endure from low shallowness or anxiousness, you’re extra susceptible to a damaging expertise with jealousy. “Jealousy is especially dangerous when it’s uncalled for,” Hamilton says. “I’ve labored with extraordinarily proficient dancers who would obsess over comparability, think about the worst-case state of affairs and attempt to deal with it in hurtful methods, like deciding they aren’t adequate, overworking themselves to the purpose of damage, or creating an consuming dysfunction.”

When White graduated from highschool and began pursuing collegiate {and professional} targets, he, too, skilled jealousy’s damaging results. “There was a dancer who auditioned for Juilliard on the identical time that I did—he obtained in and I obtained minimize,” White says. “Just a few years down the street, I noticed that he began dancing for Hubbard Road, a possibility I personally had actually hoped for. I used to be jealous of his profession.” These emotions have been tough for White to deal with, and sometimes impacted his shallowness. Finally, White got here to comprehend that evaluating his profession trajectory to another person’s wasn’t productive. “Everybody must comply with their very own path,” he says. “Your trajectory ought to be about dance itself, and what’s significant to you. It shouldn’t be about what is going to impress others.”

Discovering Stability

The road between constructive and damaging jealousy is a high quality one. Right here, Hamilton shares recommendation for making jealousy constructive.

  1. SEEK HELP. “In case you are an anxious individual, cognitive behavioral remedy could be helpful,” Hamilton says. “It’s good to have somebody to speak with, to distinguish between emotions from points you’ll be able to clear up, or from imagining the worst-case state of affairs.”
  2. BE MINDFUL. “Cease and word while you really feel jealous, with out judgment,” Hamilton says. “Ask what triggered these emotions. Do they stem from anxiousness? Perfectionism? Melancholy? That curiosity in and of itself will likely be very constructive. Naming issues provides you cognitive management over them.”
  3. LET GO OF COMPARISON. “I’ve shoppers who stroll into class and instantly examine how they measure as much as each different dancer,” Hamilton says. “You’ll all the time discover somebody who can do one thing you’ll be able to’t. Worrying about it gained’t make you are feeling any higher. As a substitute, go into class with targets you wish to work on every day, like musicality or phrasing. Give attention to these targets, as an alternative of on everybody else. If watching different dancers continues to set off you, take your contacts out or look away from the mirror.”



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