What dance has taught me about balance

finding balance

For a long time I associated balance with being still and I didn’t want it in my life. Who wants to stay still when there are so many places to go and so much to experience? Until, one day, I felt a bit wobbly on the dance floor. And it made me think… A dancer is the impersonation of balance and is anything but still. In dance there is movement and then there are moments of stillness, but even then there’s anticipation of movement.

Balance in dance doesn’t come from stillness. It comes from a strong core, focus and alignment.

When your core is strong, you’re focused and your body is aligned, you can move fast and stretch far, and still remain balanced.

Life is no different. If you have a strong core, you’re focused and your life is aligned, you can move fast and you can stretch far from your centre, and still remain balanced.

What makes a strong core?

It’s up to you. Your values. Your uniqueness. Your superpowers. Being true to yourself. I’m also tempted to add self-care as something that makes strong core possible.

Are you focused?

There’s a technique in dance called spotting. When the dancer spins, she starts to rotate her body while keeping her eyes on a single spot. The head starts turning last and the gaze returns to the spot as quickly as possible. Spotting keeps the dancer oriented and helps maintain balance. It’s not possible to focus on your ‘spot’ at all times and as long as you return to it as quickly as possible after a turn, you  know you’re still going in the right direction.

Are your actions aligned with your goals and your values?

When I look at alignment, I can see where my balance has been challenged lately. Integrity is one of my most important values. Part of integrity is keeping your commitments to yourself. And I haven’t been. I’d promise myself to go to bed early and I can’t tear myself from the computer or an interesting book. I’d decide to start eating better and I forget about lunch because I’m too busy doing something else. As a result, my values suffer and my self-care suffer. I haven’t decided yet, but I’m thinking of choosing ‘commitment’ as my one word for next year.

(By the way, if you’re wondering how I’m doing with my own Get More Sleep Challenge – yes, I’m still in! I went to sleep at 9.30 pm yesterday and I’m on track to do it again tonight).

What’s your metaphor for balance?