Tonight’s featured Innerform™ article comes from Arthur Murray Broadway instructors Esther Frances and Mircea Marta. In addition to being an instructor, Frances is a professional ballroom and Latin dance competitor, instructor, choreographer and Innerform™ content contributor. Their experience, love of the sport and unique teaching style allow them to work with individuals of all ages and skill levels. Read on to hear how dancing brought discipline and structure into their lives and how it can do the same for you!
Dancing: A Life Discipline
Let’s find out how dancing can bring discipline into your life as it did in mine. I would like to start with the meaning of the word discipline. Discipline is respecting a set of rules that can be established by you or someone else like a teacher, mentor, or organization with the purpose of accomplishing a goal.
We all know that dancing is an art and a skill, but what we don’t realize is that dancing brings perfect harmony into our minds, bodies, partners, and music. The mind represents the knowledge, the body represents the actions, the partnership represents the interactions, and the music represents the emotions. When you learn to dance, these four factors will be developed, enhanced, and engaged all together.
Now that you know what discipline and dancing is, let’s see how dancing can help you have more discipline in your life and help you to achieve your own personal goals. In life, it is very important to have one or more goals. Learning how to dance is a goal that can open the door to learning how to accomplish any goal.
For example, you may want to learn the Rumba, the origin of all Latin dances. You will have a team of teachers that will guide you and help you reach your goal. It will be a system and a plan of action to follow represented by the dance steps that you will learn.
The system is made out of three components: private lessons, group lessons, and practice time. Private lessons represent individual attention, identifying your strengths and weaknesses, and developing new habits that will get you closer to your goals. Group classes represent your interaction with others through different dances in addition to enhancing and developing your communication ability through dancing. Practice represents the chance to get out there and apply everything that you have learned set to music.
How fun is that? You can practice anywhere – a studio party, the subway station, your living room… What an amazing ability to have to be able to just let go and dance anywhere you want!
Do you think by following the system and the plan of action your teachers have set for you will get you to your goal of learning to dance the Rumba? You bet you will. I guarantee you that. This will never fail. More than that, it will work with any goal that you want to achieve in your life.
Now I want you to think of a goal. Once you have chosen one, search for someone that has accomplished the same goal and use that person as a mentor or adviser. Set up meetings (this is like your private lessons), read books, watch videos and communicate the information you learn with others (this is like your group classes), then take action and apply what you have learned, (this is like your practice).
Since you now have a mentor/teacher, you’ve built your knowledge, you’ve communicated with others what you have learned (interaction), and can apply the information representing your actions. As a result of believing in everything that you do, you will add emotion. All this sound familiar? Yes, it is.
There are four factors that dancing brings in perfect harmony. First, your mind; you gain knowledge from your teacher. Second, the people that you interact with. Third, your body; the actions that you take towards your goal. Fourth, the music; a state of emotions that manifest themselves through believing in everything you do.
Congratulations, now you are a dancer and the master of the dance called LIFE.