The dancer knows where to start – always the same. Class begins with first position.
Left hand on the barre. Heels together, toes pointed outward, weight equally distributed for balance. Knees directly over your toes. Adjust.
Framework. Classes become more advanced, yet each dancer begins with the basics – over and over. Think sunrise, morning, breakfast, eyelids opening – first position…
Every class begins the same. Only I am different. Sometimes joyous or excited. Sometimes bored. Sometimes rebellious. Dance practice is consistent, – far more reliable than my mood. No matter what happens, I come here, take first position. If I lack energy, I walk through the basics. Later my spirit may come alive, responding fully to the music.
Find beauty in simplicity. Inexplicably I find myself tangled in the complex, the difficult, the challenging. Here, the ordinary, the accepted, the repetitive sets the tone for each day. Dance always begins with the basics.
Balance – Distribute your weight equally. Standing on two feet requires balance. Self correcting in every moment. Distributing the weight of your attention across the many areas of your life. Balance is the willingness to self-correct again and again, endlessly – neither blaming or condemning – just correcting as you go.
Adjust – Every day I am different from the day before. Yesterday my feet could turn out more and my energy was high. Today I draw inward. First position, pulling up from my center. The “why am I here?” moment. Show up. Align the spine. Strengthen the backbone. Be the best I can in this moment – unlike any other moment before or after.
Faith and Surrender. In this moment, there is only stillness – before the music begins. Before I spring into action, I pray that I will be enough. I accept myself where I am, if only for a moment. Longing for elusive perfection –knowing it does not belong to me. Surrendering expectations and living in my body today. Soar or stumble, it is my learning.
Look around. The mirror provides my reflection – if I dare look. Truth is bold and fleeting. Easier to watch the other dancers – imagining that I dance as gracefully. Consoled that others struggle as I do. Still, the excellent dancers seek their reflection. (Even when it disappoints) I know that.
Show up. I am willing with all my heart, yet fearful. Seeking control, looking good. Dancers sometimes fall. They risk looking foolish. Thought to self – Learn to laugh more. The fool who is willing to dance has more fun.
Listen to the music. Move with the beat, the soul follows. Allegro, legato, be prepared. Coming with nothing but myself – merging with the rhythm. Making art this moment. The dance IS the meaning.
First position. The chance to start again – Choose to begin with the familiar. It is you who are different, ONLY you. The dance awaits. To dance is to live.
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Carole Hodges is the founder of The YES Connection which provides insight for uncommon leadership through select training and coaching. Her vision is to create 100,000 conscious, successful business leaders who market from the heart, sell from the soul, and unleash spirit within their organizations. She offers a complimentary Holiday Meditation at www.theYESconnection.com