Find Your Flow: 5 Life Lessons from the Dance Studio

“You are unique, and if that is not fulfilled, then something has been lost.”

Martha Graham

So you think you can dance?

Do you realize we are dancing every day? How we engage and interact with life is really a dance that shows up everywhere – in our relationships, with our clients, with our children, with our issues.

Are you in the flow of life? Or are you getting your toes stomped or being a wallflower?

Dancing is a great metaphor for how to tap into our divine flow and energy. Apply these 5 lessons and watch how your moves on the dance floor of life and business starts to shift!

Dancing has always been something I enjoyed as entertainment. Seeing the grace, strength and artistry of ballet continues to amaze me. But I never thought of myself as a dancer. Being a tall girl in grade school, a head higher than most of my peers until later in high school, I felt fairly clunky and awkward with my gangly limbs.

I decided to stretch my comfort zone and embrace my love of music and movement by taking a world music dance class. We dance to the music of African tribes, South American villages and contemporary music. Not only has it been a lot of fun, but it’s proved to be a great metaphor for creating success in life and business too!

Here are 5 lessons I learned in the dance studio that can help you find your flow and express your fullest, most joyful self!

Lesson 1 – Break Things Down

What may look effortless on the dance floor starts with breaking things down into individual steps. The polished and powerful performance is the results of hours and hours of practice, effort and commitment.

Sometimes we sabotage ourselves by thinking we should already know how to handle tragedy, or have a difficult conversation, or run a business. Start from where you are right now.  Break things into bite-sized, actionable choices you can make immediately.

Lesson 2 – Don’t Overthink Things

Thinking about changing your life in some way won’t happen if you overthink things. Pondering how to enjoy more love, money or peace in your life won’t happen until you take action. Getting concerned about whether you are doing it “right” or if others will approve just blocks your flow.

Getting out on the dance floor of your life, clunky and awkward, is where you’ll experience the polishing that helps you discover talents and strengths you may never have known you had.

Lesson 3 – Let Your Spirit Move You

Dancing and other forms of creative expression are such a great way to have your creative, intuitive side partner up with your linear, analytic side of your brain. Immersing yourself in the dance will allow you to bust some moves that are part of your signature style. For example, before you sit down to have that difficult conversation with someone you might know exactly what you want to say. But you need to stay present to what is happening in the moment of the conversation itself, so you can truly listen, respond and create a solution to the conflict. Structure is great to get you started, but tapping into your own spirit and wisdom is where the magic happens.

Lesson 4 – Be Willing to Laugh

Life is too short to take everything, including ourselves, so seriously. The wall-to-wall mirror in the dance studio offers me glimpses of all of me –the dorky beginner, the lithe graceful dancer, the goofball, the committed student doing her best to learn a new move. Having a sense of humor when we take on a challenge or hit a bump in the road keeps us on the dance floor.

Lesson 5 – Celebrate the Stretch

One thing I love most about live performances, particularly dance or theater, is that the performers are giving it their all. They are spreading their wings and celebrating the stretch. Their blood, sweat and tears are right there for the audience to see.

The stretch isn’t comfortable as we are literally lengthened toughened sinews and muscles in our body. But out of the stretch, we get more mobility, flexibility and strength that can last a lifetime.

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