Millions of people at this exact moment,

while you’re reading this, are training like crazy to have a chance under the spot light! To work and succeed in the dance industry is tough. It’s one of the most competitive professions out there. We have to give a hand to anyone that decides this as their path.

The flip side is that this world brings some of the most incredible joys and feelings of ecstasy that a human being could ever dream of. But what about when the pain outweighs the joy? As a dancer, when is it time to give it all up? To stop going to auditions or competitions, to stop living pay cheque to pay cheque, to stop training, to stop believing in the dream?
The thoughts and feelings go back and forth. One moment you are on top of the world when called for the part and the next moment you are filled with bitterness and hopelessness, picking up those extra shifts at work wondering when you will ever get that big break. The wavering feelings persist and the doubt sets in.

These struggles are real and yet if dancers were able to reframe their thought process, the journey may not be so difficult. The truth is that being a dancer is not something one gives up. It is who you are. It is something that is so deep and within you that even if you tried to stop, it would be impossible. The human need you have to express through dance is a gift and cannot ever be taken away. You never have to give it up because it’s a part of you. It’s breathing. To give it up would mean not to breathe.

The industry tricks you into believing that it’s the only world that matters. That’s the place where stars are made and it’s the only way to ‘make it’.

Suddenly outside validation becomes more important than fulfilling the deeper need to move and express. Dancers feel doomed if they don’t book that music video or that world tour after just a few years of trying and give up faster than they started.

Yet if dancers were to know that the very act of dancing is a journey within itself, a new light will shine and other opportunities begin to expand. There are so many other areas where dancers can thrive, feel fulfilled and contribute their gifts – from the world of heath & wellness, community development, education, science, psychology, and motivational speaking … the list is endless. There are an increasing amount of areas where the skills and expertise of dancers are needed and can be utilized to innovate and bring forth new ideas, new inventions, and new ways of doing things. Basically, these are other ways of ‘making it’.

This all boils down to a shift of thinking. The sooner dancers can come to the realization that dancing is a deeper human need, the sooner permission can be given to move freely, to enjoy the process, to detach from the end result, and to discover parts of themselves they didn’t know existed.

In our own experience as Dancers, while living in Brazil, we had to train really hard, everyday, focused on the goal, specially due to the fact that out there we had so many other talented dancers seeking for the same thing!
We had to make ourselves visible, and nothing better for that than having more and more quality in your dance! After a certain point, it will high light and draw the attention you need!

Living out of our home land for a few years already, we’ve been through several situations in which the feeling was nothing else but “let’s leave it and go back home”! We felt sad, lonely, weak but, the desire, the passion, the dance breathing coming from the deep within, put us back up and made us go through the walls that raised in front of us! Our dream was stronger and we did want to live our dream!

We’ll all face the walls, many times starting in our families, when many don’t believe you will make it happen! That you should get a real job! As if a dancer’s life was easy, just fun, but, Dancer is what you really are and your dream is the powerful fuel you have and it will take you there! How much do you believe in your dream? How strong is your faith?

“Giving up” then is no longer an option and what’s left is the essence of an unstoppable, moving and magnificent spirit.

Author: Janet L. Castillo

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