How often have you asked yourself, ‘Why do you do what you do? What drives you?’ Let us hear what Srividya has to share on the importance of having clarity of purpose when you take to something as profound and vast as dance.
Tip #1: It is so difficult to manage the stress which comes from competitions. If I am too stressed out, I am not able to give my best to dance.
I completely agree. Don't manage stress. Eliminate it. It is imperative that you start some form of meditation and yoga to strike that balance.
Ask yourself why do you dance?
Be it dance or any other art form, one must have clarity of purpose. Once in a while it is healthy to ask yourself, ‘Why am I dancing? What got me here in the first place?’ This helps bring back that same passion which you had when you just started out!
With so many reality shows coming up, the competition in even art forms has risen up by a large extent which at times can really dilute the whole purpose of pursuing dance. Your entire focus goes on putting someone down, rather than improving yourself. Your creativity in routines works around being better than someone else! Winning is not bad, but having a healthy, stress-free mind and body along the way makes success sweeter. The fastest way to get back that focus is by reminding yourself of your purpose. This realisation dawned when I began to meditate.
Tip #2: How can we avoid politics in competitions? It really dissuades me from participating.
Don't brand all competitions. It is like saying ALL politicians are corrupt. You will then lose all hope, and go into a self-pity mode. Get a reality check. See if there was something in their routine that stood out! Again, remind yourself why you started dancing. Was it only to win competitions? If you give an outstandingly good performance, no matter who wins, you will be elated. Move on. Nobody can inspire you, better than yourself!
How meditation helps?
Banking completely on other people's opinions, awards or recognition to measure your talent is dangerous, simply because at some point you lose your individuality. You tailor each routine to impress an audience or a judge. When you meditate, you become clear about what you want for yourself. If you believe that the purpose behind learning a dance form is your heart’s calling and not because others had destined it to happen for you, then the quality of your expression exuberates such confidence that it touches every spectator’s heart. You revive that passion!
Take to a Sahaj Samadhi Meditation Course and experience the difference.
Snippets from Srividya’s dancing career
Thousands of keen eyes peering my every move in darkness, the thundering beats of the mridangam (a percussion instrument), the ghungroos (a musical anklet) noisily moving in swift rhythms and before I knew it, I’d entered that familiar ethereal world.
As I grew up, dance was all I wanted to do. I would absorb everything that was remotely related to rhythm! The art came to me naturally and I put in several hours to master it.
My skill increased day by day. The more I performed the more accolades I won! The shelves got filled with dozens of trophies, the certificates piled up, and the world literally was a stage.
I was 11 years old, when I was invited for a national level competition. It was one of my best performances and I knew I nailed it until the judge declared someone else as winner.
I froze while walking out, ran back home and cried my heart out about how unfair the whole episode was. When my tears eventually dried up, the only question I kept asking myself was "why do I dance?”And all that came to me was, "because everyone says I’m good"
From then on I boycotted all competitions until years later I came across a book; which had an article that said, "Your talents are for others"
Voila! I looked at my ghunghroos once more, smiled to myself, and began my practice that day. I felt like a swan, so effortless!
At the same time I also happened to learn meditation. It was a new beginning because clarity dawned in me! I started dancing for the love of the art and shared this talent with thousands through a series of workshops. Dance moved from being just an expression of talent to a catalyst in transformation - transforming myself and others on the way.
Ask yourself, ‘Do I end up doing a task with the same sacredness with which I began’? When we begin dancing, we notice our every move, our every step and our rhythm. But with time, all this dries up. It is time we look into what’s lacking and bring back the respect we had for dance through the next article in the sequel by Srividya Varchaswi.