Updated: Jul 10
With all events, classes, sessions and basically anything that isn't a food or medical store, being closed, we're all trying to stay motivated and active in our dance. But even with online classes, battles, talks and sessions, it of course can be hard. So here's 5 things I thought might help to keep you excited and pushing. Have a read and let me know what you think:
1) MUSIC, MUSIC, MUSIC
We're dancers and music is what drives and moves us, but with all the DJ mixes out now, and the ability to stream easily, we can forget about those tracks that really makes us want to dance. So now is a good time to really get into the music you love and take some time to make your own playlist full of tracks that you actually want to dance to.
Also, find the known DJs who play a lot of the top events, like for breaking Lean Rock, Fleg, Scream, Khan Fu. etc. Get their specific mixes, pick a few of their tracks you really love and practice dancing to them as much as possible until you know those tracks inside and out, and can hit every beat, melody and groove in it. Then, when competitions do come around again, and you get one of those DJs spinning for you, if they drop one of those tracks you've musically mastered you'll know, right then and there, that you're going to kill that beat, because you've been dancing to it non-stop the past month. Can you imagine the excitement you'll feel, primed and ready!
So get out of the habit of just streaming a mix in the background to practice to, and get into the MUSIC, because music is what started and fuels our dance.
2) CONNECTION THROUGH LEARNING THE STORIES AND HISTORY
We talk about the culture, about how inspiring it is because of how it started and what it represents, but how deep do we go into it? To truly know your connection to something, and why it speaks to you, you always need to look into the stories of the past. Now is a perfect time to watch documentaries, look up and read books, watch the films, shows and check other material all on the history and stories of your dance and this culture. Our dance culture is full of inspiring stories, so enjoy some down time to watch and read, and get lost in the history and origins of what we do.
Here are two links to articles I wrote that have a list of documentaries to check out for breakers:
3) YOUR STYLE
We all chasing our own Style in dance, and it's something that can be hard to really work on when you're constantly trying to get new moves and stay in shape. But once you find your style it doesn't leave you, and everything you create will come from it. So now is a great time to really look at how you dance and why?
What other ways of moving have you always wanted to explore, or which other dancers out there truly inspires you with their style and why?
You have the time to really work on your style, to look at it and experiment with all the different ways you want to express to people who you are.
This also relates back to music and history; Music will bring out your character if you allow yourself to get lost in those tracks that you love. The stories from the history will tell you how and why certain styles came about, and through those you might find inspiration and connections to people's styles that you see and love.
4) THE PEOPLE THAT YOU SHARE WITH
Find your Circle of People that you can share all the above with. Your Circle of People should be those that you send that dope, new track that you just discovered, to, because you know they're into music just as much as you. It's those people you can talk to about that documentary you just watched because you know they will also watch it, read deep into, and want to discuss all the little meanings, scenes and things you figured out and connected to from it. It's those people who you can talk to about the new things in your style that you've discovered, or are trying, and who or what is inspiring your movement right now. Your Circle of People are those who want to hear , talk about, share, and discuss the things that you also want to hear, talk about, share and discuss. They are your exchange points, and they give you that energy of release and fulfillment that makes you want to train, study, research, discover and explore more. They are the people that give you a sense of doing this for a meaningful reason.
Training partners can fulfill this, but sometimes we train with people because they help us push our bodies, but then our circle are those who also who help us mentally, emotionally and spiritually stay connected and inspired in our dance.
5) DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT
It's also OK to just take a break and do something that has nothing to do with dancing. Motivation is not free it's an energy source, and that energy will always deplete at some point and you'll need to stop and give it time to replenish itself. There is nothing wrong with taking a week off and just doing something else. If you can do this daily it'll also help a lot but sometimes we just need a break, to eat some snacks, go for a walk, play computer games, cook, watch a movie (not the Quiet Place- it sucks, trust me :D ) caught up with friends, sew, get drunk and go on House party... anything. But know that it's not always a bad thing to feel a lack of motivation if you've been going non-stop for a while. It's natural, and fully OK.
And those are the 5 things. I hope they help.
Feedback and comments are totally welcome. Emmanuel Adelekun The Vivid Scribe
Aka Manny (Soul Mavericks crew)