Dance Tips and Guides by Sandra Noland

AM a dancer”. How those words ring with passion and pride! They are the
summation of hard-won hopes and dreams, proof of your special gifts. They
hint at exoticism, at glamour – of your being a little different, distinctive, from
the rest. They define your special place in the world, they are the definition of
your very self. It is a phrase not many can genuinely claim as their own.
“I am a dancer”. We often speak of how dance is inseparable from our identity.
But if that is the case, what happens when you can’t be a dancer?
Think of it this way: Yes, you are a dancer, but you are also a thinker, creator,
son or daughter, a friend, you have a brain and a heart, you are a multi-faceted
human being with a thousand and one potentialities. You are a dancer, but that is
just one part of who you are.
I once heard a wise person say: “This is what I do, it is not what I am.”
Those words can be hard to accept. Being a dancer is so all-consuming. For most
of Dance Australia’s readers, being a dancer means the exhilaration of performing.
But there are many other ways you can still be involved with dance, when you, for
whatever reason, aren’t dancing.
Thinking of dance as “what you do” rather than “what you are” makes you step
outside yourself, where before you were immersed within yourself. It helps you see
those other parts of your being that are perhaps unformed, untapped, that being a
dancer led you to ignore. You may find yourself to be a more complex, multiskilled
individual then you had ever suspected.
Thinking of dance as something you do, rather than what you are, can open your
eyes to all the aspects that go into doing it, and making it possible for dance to be