Letting Go is the Way to Go
In today’s blog, I want to talk about ‘relax, release, receive.’ When it comes to learning how to dance, I always tell my students and teachers that this should be their mantra.
It’s a joy to see that so many of you are now more relaxed when you are dancing and that you’ve come so far. You’re no longer the nervous newcomers that you were at the beginning, so in many ways, you’ve achieved Stage 1. You’ve nailed the ‘Relax’ bit!
Letting go is hard to do
Achieving Stage 2: Release can take a little more time. Letting go is hard to do, especially letting go of the need to be right. This is because we’ve had years of conditioning and programming; that inner voice is always telling us that if there’s a lesson and a teacher, and you’re a student, you always have to get it right.
Hands up who believes that you have to be good at something to enjoy yourself while you’re doing it?
Well unless you let go of the need to be right and give yourself permission to enjoy yourself, whatever you’re doing is just not going to feel right.
Allow the space for spontaneity
Then there’s Stage 3 – Receive, the holy grail.
That stage where you get to say ‘I get it!’
But how to do you ‘get it’?
You have to ‘Release’’; to let go of the need to be right. You have to release the pressure to be good at what you’re doing and allow the space for spontaneity to come in.
Allow yourself to go wrong, allow yourself to wobble. Allow yourself to not know if you’re doing it right.
If you don’t let go of the need to feel reassured all the time, you’re not going to reach the next stage.
Use your ears, not just your eyes
In many beginners classes, teachers will wrap you up in cotton wool and try to make things easier by getting you to copy them. I sometimes don’t let you copy me, which I know makes some people uncomfortable, especially if they are visual learners. But in Lindy Hop, you also need to get used to learning by listening and feeling. Allow yourself to listen for the beat and to feel the rhythm.
You might feel lost when trying to follow unfamiliar music. You may try to use your eyes to find a clue, an instruction, or a hint about whether you’re doing well. It can feel uncomfortable, but you know what? It’s okay.
I’m allowing you to feel uncomfortable to encourage you to get out of your comfort zone. When you allow yourself to get out of your comfort zone, this is where the magic happens. This is when you will progress onto the next level
The only real way to avoid being uncomfortable and not make mistakes would be to not dance at all. That would be a real shame.
Have a go at letting go!
So allow yourself to be uncomfortable. I’m inviting you to give it a go. In your next lesson, when you feel that urge to look for a visual cue, try listening to the music instead. If you feel lost, just remember, ‘I’m showing up, I’m doing the moves, I don’t need to keep assessing myself.’
Everyone, have a go at letting go!