Earlier this week, an article I wrote appeared in Pointe magazine's Training column: How To Work Through A Plateau.
All three of my sources for this piece (one dancer and two school director/teachers) echoed each other, despite their differing perspectives: set goals, but don't freak out if you don't meet them "on time", beware of the comparison trap, and if you feel a sense of stagnation, get an outside opinion on whether your perception is real.
And they all agreed that taking moments to look back on how far you've come, how much progress you've already made, always matters.
Marja' Miller, a dancer with Carolina Ballet Theater, went through a dark period of feeling "stuck in a rut," as she put it, during which she became so obsessed with how well her friends were doing that she could only see her own differences-- which she then interpreted as her shortcomings. She nearly quit dancing out of despair. But she talked to people-- family and mentors-- and instead of wallowing, took matters into her own hands by doubling down on her efforts, broadening her training regimen, and refocusing on her reasons for dancing in the first place. She came through with flying colors.
Jacquline Porter, director of The Dallas Conservatory, equated plateauing in dance with stillness in nature. It's not permanent, but a beautiful chance to take a good, slow look around. What's behind, what's nearby, and what might lie ahead.
Of course, any of this might ring true to people in any walk of life. Like so many of the dance journal topics, these issues show up just as much outside the dance world as in it, and the ways to face them are pretty much the same, too.
Below is a link to the article on Pointe+. Enjoy. I hope you find the same inspiration I did!