The Dance Teacher Dilemma: Then the phone rings and you are pulled away again, then yet another situation arises to pull you away from your original plan. Before you know it, your time is limited and you feel rushed, uninspired and your mind gets cluttered with thoughts that are unproductive to the creative process. An even worse scenario is when you start to work creatively and are interrupted for something that could have been dealt with later or without you all together. UGH!!!
Does any of this sound familiar?
If so, then this article is for you! How can you possibly create when one minute you are feeling the mood to move only to be interrupted by any one of the non-essential or unimportant day to day issues? We have found, through the years, that if we go into the studio for one or two hours to work creatively it is important not to be disturbed under any circumstance. Try not to get sucked into the clutter whirlpool with any and all things that come your way in daily life.
Perimeters must be set by you if you are really going to find the noise and clutter free zones, where truly the creative process is released. I have attended several Time Management courses and they claim that this noise clutter interruption is so prevalent and detrimental to corporate America that many are finding it to be the biggest source of counter-productive issues that they face.
According to a recent study, if you are in the process of doing some task, like choreographing for example, and are interrupted, it can take you up to fifteen minutes to refocus and to restart your engine. That's lost time that none of us will ever get back and I am sure you don't have to spare.
We have developed a system to help with this mind clutter issue for dance teachers.
Dance Teacher pointers for finding that clutter free zone.
When you are going to create, turn off all cell phones or activate your do not disturb function and tell evryone that you are not to be disturbed, unless the building is on fire and emphasize to them that this rule must never be broken!
Define before you begin an exact start and finish time. This will help you focus on what's at hand and you will know before you start that you have that certain amount of time to produce.
Spend at least five minutes before you start getting organized. Find the music and get your pad, pen or anything else you need to be ready.
Sit somewhere quiet and try to focus on freeing your mind of any issues or mundane tasks that may lie ahead. This part can be a bit tricky but if you concentrate on purging your mind, good vibrations will find their way in.
Try not to force. Relax and let your mind go. Delving into the creative process.
Also realize that sometimes it is just not going to come to you as fast as you may like or it may not come at all. Life may have thrown you a curve ball and that could very possibly interfere with your thought process.
Sometimes it is helpful to play a bunch of music and just sit there and think. Reflect on all the good you do and have done. I have done this many times when I am having difficulty getting the creative process going and all of a sudden a flood of ideas come to me. I may not create any steps at that moment, but I have a bag full of ideas for numbers when I am done. Sometimes we just have to ride the creative wave wherever it wants to take us.
I have also created routines just sitting, thinking and letting the music tell me what goes where. I have found creative inspiration at the dog park many times just getting out of the dance studio and away from distractions. The key is that every dance teacher is unique and your creative sweet spot will be what works for you.
I have read that in Bali each year they have a day of silence. Nothing at all happens. No calls, no noise, no talking. Everyone just spends the day reflecting, writing down their thoughts and thinking. The goal is to get rid of anything that isn't serving you. I don't know about you, but that sounds pretty wonderful to me! Maybe we can arrange a dance teacher escape to Bali! In the meantime while we may not be able to devote a full day to silence and mental purging, I have found that you can, with a concentrated effort, do the same thing in a smaller time frame.
You could even imagine you are in Bali right now, on the beach while you go through this ritual. The key here is to create a noise and clutter free environment for your creative garden to grow. So for now picture yourself in Bali...and let your creative vibe go to work... 😃