I have a question for you…. You know those crazy dreams where you’re trying desperately to run away from something or someone and you just can’t do it? You are feeling stuck, like having your feet stuck in blocks of cement which hinder anything you try to do.
We all are feeling stuck at some point in our lives. I have, and I am pretty sure you have, too. This often happens when we stop listening, especially to ourselves. The life routines that include work, going to school, and paying the bills can make us feel uninspired. The pressure to perform a choreographed dance routine can also keep you feeling stuck, especially when you have practiced more than 100 times and you still just can’t do it.
I know you want to get ahead in your dancing. But, no matter what you do, you just can’t seem to take it to the next level. Or maybe it’s your relationship with friends or that special someone. You used to laugh, play, and go on dates, but not anymore.
Is it wrong to feel stuck?
Feeling stuck is hard and actually being stuck sucks. But, here’s the thing… This is not a bad dream where you can’t run away or scream for help. This is real life, and you are more in control than you realize.
When you’re starting something new that you have not done before, like dancing, can be really scary at first, right? If you think about it, there’s lots (tons?) of advice given to you by your friends and family, or maybe you found all kinds of online videos giving you advice on how to dance.
Before you know it, you find yourself overwhelmed with all these things to do in order to make it happen. Suddenly, you realize you’re feeling stuck. Hmmm… So, what to do now?
Well, I’ve learned a lot over the years from some of my students that have had this feeling of being stuck. I hope to pass my wisdom on to those who are starting to dance, or have been dancing for a while, but are too afraid to do the necessary steps to get unstuck.
With a few small changes, you can get your momentum back and get unstuck with your dancing. Today, I want to share six practical steps you can take to get back to pursuing your dancing journey.
When you’re feeling stuck, follow these six steps to help you get unstuck.
Feeling Stuck? Remember Your Reason Why and Get Moving
This one we tend to forget almost right away when we are learning to dance, or after you have been dancing for a while. Knowing how to answer these questions will give you a head start to stop being stuck.
Why are you doing this? Why does this type of success matter to you? Why is this important to you? Why do you want to do it?
These are just a few questions to start considering. I love these questions because you can apply them to your dancing and to any other aspect of your life, like goal-setting, your business, etc. Wherever you’re feeling stuck, remind yourself why you are doing it. Knowing the why will help you assess where you want to be. In other words, the reason why will help you get moving.
Do you know that the meaning of the word ‘stuck’ means a lack of movement? Surprise! But, at the same time, it’s a lot easier to stay moving once you get moving.
That’s why your only objective in this step is to take a baby step towards mapping out what you need to get the ball rolling. Is it setting up time to practice by yourself? Do you need to call your dance partner to practice that crazy step you learned in class? Do you need to remove any distractions when you’re watching your online video lesson?
Think about it and then take action from your answer. The idea of being stuck will begin to despair you.
What’s My Purpose?
It’s easy to fall into feeling stuck when it seems like you’re not really working toward anything at all. I have learned first hand that having things to look forward to creates a sense of purpose. Having a purpose, or a sense of purpose, is an essential ingredient for keeping me motivated. To get unstuck you need to focus on the small things.
Small things, like planning to go dancing on a Saturday night, can give you the boost you need to help you stop being stuck.
So, what do you need to do next? Make plans. There is a great deal of power in anticipation, such as knowing where you are heading in life or knowing what you want out of dancing. Sometimes you might look forward to existing events, such as preparing for the Salsa convention in town or the release of a new movie. In order to stop being stuck you have to create these moments intentionally. Plan a vacation. Take a day trip to the zoo. Call or text your friends and make plans to practice the new step you learned or to work on the one you are struggling with.
In a nutshell, give yourself things to look forward to. Never overlook the little things. Even small daily and weekly wins, such as being able to go to your favorite place for lunch or understanding the reason why you started to learn to dance, will build a sense of anticipation for the future.
As I said before, all you need is to take one baby step at the time.
Focus on ONE Thing And Change What You Say
Guys and Ladies, would you agree with me that having a long to-do list can be overwhelming at times? When you look at all the work that needs to get done, it’s easy to believe you can’t accomplish all of it. The feeling of being stuck creeps in and you don’t know how to get unstuck from this feeling. Yes?
One of the most important skills for both a beginner and a seasoned dancer is being able to learn a lot of dance routines and complex patterns, right? Wrong!!
Not many people realize how much memory and brain power are required to become an awesome dancer with the mental capacity to execute lots of steps. Instead of focusing on learning complex patterns, focus on ONE component of that complex pattern at the time.
BECOME a master on the execution of that component before moving on to the next one. When you do this, you will be pleasantly surprised by how a complex pattern becomes easy and, by default, you will have a great sense of satisfaction. It’s a quick win, and it’s progress. Any progress is a very good thing in my book. This could be the ONE thing you do to start eliminating the feeling of being stuck.
Here is something you need to be careful with; it’s human nature to make our problems bigger than they are with the words we use.
If you only think about how overwhelmed you are and how stuck you feel, then that’s exactly where you’re going to stay, feeling stuck. I believe the biggest limitations in our lives are the ones we put on ourselves.
What’s the biggest limitation in your life?
Not only do you have to change what you say, but also what you believe. Yes, it is easier said than done, but it is also very possible to do. Here are the two quotes I use from time to time when I am feeling stuck and I need to get unstuck:
“If you believe in yourself anything is possible.” — Miley Cyrus
“There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.” — Denis Waitley
If knowing these quotes is not enough for you, then you need to take a more active approach. One way to do that is to focus, especially on your motivation. These are some ways you can get motivated which will help you even when you don’t feel particularly interested or excited about what you are doing:
Remember, take small steps.
Baby steps are the key here. Pick something that you think you might like to pursue, such as that new step you saw on your online dance school. Start small with the positive thought that you can accomplish it, even if you feel it is outside of your current dance skill level.
Don’t wait for motivation or inspiration to strike. Just begin.
Allow yourself to get through the first component by practicing a lot. Once you have mastered it, pick the next component and master it.
Eventually, just going through the motions will be a thing of the past and you will feel involved, excited, and interested in learning more.
Give yourself a small, but meaningful, reward for learning the dance step.
Positive reinforcement is key when you’re struggling to get motivated or feeling stuck. Promise yourself a reward for starting the task. Then, continue to reward yourself after completing the whole step.
It’s that simple!
Get Unstuck by Understanding Your Foundations
When you find yourself feeling stuck, avoid trying out everything you see online or hear from your dance friends. This can be a bad idea when you are learning to dance, or when you feel like you could do it on the dance floor.
The first thing you need to do is to create a baseline by asking yourself questions like: What kind of dancer do I want to become? Am I going to be a dance performer? How often will I go out to practice socially? These standards might be a little vague at first but, as you progress, you’ll have a lot of room for growth and they will help keep you on track.
The next thing to do to prevent you from feeling stuck is to understand that every dance routine, or combination, can be broken down into a series of Essential Steps. Good dance instructors make an effort to instill these Essential Steps as core skills, urging students to learn both the step as well as the name of it, to help them separate each step. By doing so, this will bring clarity in their learning experience.
So, find a great dance instructor. Any experienced dancer knows how important it is to have a good dance instructor. A great instructor will be able to help you get unstuck by applying clear advice to the aspect of your dancing. This alone will get you going right away.
If you are a master of the Essential Steps, you will quickly be able to combine them together to memorize a routine. Your Essential Steps are the building blocks for dancing.
(If you want to learn what the Essential Steps are, click on La Clave Membership to get more info on how to get access!)
Allocate time for practice
Ok, this might seem obvious, but it’s still very important to discuss. As with any new skill, practice makes perfect as the general rule, right? Do not be too hard on yourself if it seems to take you a little longer than others to learn a dance step or routine. Your ability to learn dance steps quickly will improve over time, as your mind will grow accustomed to forming associations to what you do.
Practice will bring about improvements in all areas of your dancing, which will make it easier to learn complicated step combinations. The more comfortable you are with the Essential Steps, the easier it will be to link them together in your mind.
Be sure to set aside time for practice without any distractions. Once you have learned a new step, I recommend that my new students practice three to four minutes daily, or five to ten minutes a day for my more advanced students. You will be surprised how many times you can do a 20-second-long step during a three to ten minute practice session.
This approach will help you get unstuck and prepare you for the next dance step or lesson, especially when you focus for a small amount of time, instead of trying to do one or two hours of practice every day.
Always remind yourself of your “why”. Get moving. Focus on one thing at a time, change what you say, and just do it. Feeling stuck will be a thing of the past once you make a change.
Focus On Mastering How to Stop Being Stuck
Once you have an idea of what kind of dancer you would like to become and know how much time you are willing to allocate to get there, mastering your dancing skills will become easier and you might even enjoy the process. This is a sure-fire way to get unstuck. Having a sense of clarity is very important here.
Try to avoid complicating your thoughts in regards to dancing; approach it in a natural and organic way like walking, driving, or brushing your teeth. We do these things without giving them any thought, right?
Finding a dancer you would like to emulate will help you mimic and visually learn some of the cool stuff they are doing. The key word here is: focus. Doing one thing at the time will give you that “master” status you are looking for. In general, dancing is just a series of step combinations. Watch closely as he or she dances at a social gathering or in a class environment. Another way to achieve this is by the power of online dance videos.
Watching the online video demonstration before trying to do the steps yourself is a safe habit to cultivate. The beauty of this approach is that you have total control on when to pause, rewind, or move forward so you can mimic the steps as they are demonstrated, not just once or twice, but an unlimited number of times to get the perfect look you want.
Keep in mind that only you have the ability to either make things complicated or really simple. The truth is, when you are first starting to dance, your priority should be laying down the groundwork for the future. If you are a more advanced dancer, or you are starting to become a really good or professional dancer, just make sure you have everything in place for your own success.
Guys and Ladies, how to get unstuck when you’re feeling stuck at dancing is easier said than done. So many people find it really hard to break free from it, but what happens when your efforts become more intentional? Exactly!
I always believe that knowing the source of the problem is half of the battle. The real question is: What are you going to do to get unstuck now that you have multiple simple ways to get yourself moving?
Here comes the good news. When you decided to take ONE step towards setting a small time allocation for practice, and focus your mental and physical energy towards becoming a master of that singular task, something amazing will happen to you! It’s a fact!
It is like getting a clean slate. As the idea of being stuck begins to vanish from your thoughts, instead of spending time reacting, you are now moving forward.
Find a good dance instructor to help you correct your current dancing course. Watch other dancers and focus on the things you would like to grab from them, then incorporate them into your skill. Utilize the power of dance video memberships to help you master your dance journey.
In my personal and humble opinion, these are the things I used when I started to dance. I still continue to apply these principles for almost everything new I want to learn or, more specifically, when I am feeling stuck.
I continue to bear the fruits of these six steps when I am feeling stuck, and I hope this article will help you too!
Happy Dancing !!