Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Lessons From Dance Class: Leave It At the Door


One of the first rules I learned in ballet was to 'leave it at the door,' as in, leave your life issues and drama outside. The studio was a place for dance and discipline, not petty fights with best friends at school or boyfriend issues.

As a twelve year old going through a parental divorce and the issues of getting over my drawn out ugly phase, not thinking about my *overly* dramatic issues was hard.

Got a not so stellar grade on my last exam? Too bad, point my toes more anyway. The boy I like doesn't like me back? Forget it and fix my arabesque. Parents yell at me for no good reason? Psh. I need to be more concerned about my turnout than how much the world hates me.


This mentality made me mature real fast and taught me invaluable lessons such as:

~I have a purpose higher than myself and I have a responsibility to fulfill that purpose everyday. 
(a.k.a., get over myself.)
.
~It's not as bad as I think it is.

~Focus on what I can control, not things I can't. Similarly...

~Be present. There's no point in worrying about anything else. 
The past is gone and I can't change the future.

~Suck it up. Move on. Those with excuses are not fulfilling their potential.

One of the biggest reasons why dance is in my heart is because all my life lessons circle back to my childhood days in the studio. It's amazing how 'leaving it at the door' changes one's perspective and creates a happier and more fulfilled life. 


Do you often have to 'leave it at the door'?
What taught you how to do it?
photos from my Instagram


23 comments:

  1. I love this post, you are so wise, I don't really.
    I think I'm still trying to find that 'purpose that's higher than myself' - I loved that line incidentally.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I totally agree with you. Even in hip-hop, we stress the "leave it at the door" and "dance for yourself, not the mirror" policy. Nothing is more therapeutic than simply sweating it out and living in the moment in a dance class :)

    xo

    ReplyDelete
  3. totally agree with this and it makes you feel so much better if you do actually leave your troubles at the door. i do this when i horseride; it is almost like therapy! :) xx

    ReplyDelete
  4. I totally agree. Re-hashing events, gossiping, etc.. do not change the circumstances. Well said!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've always tried to have that same attitude at work. My job may drive me crazy sometimes but it does a good job at helping me focus on something other than my problems and so I try really hard to leave my problems outside. It definitely helps.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ah, but you *can* change the future, can't you? What you do right now has consequences and impact on future things to come. Simply by choosing to leave it at the door, you are changing your future emotions, no?

    ReplyDelete
  7. I still struggle with internalizing my issues too much but I danced for years throughout middle school and high school and I loved it because it was the best stress reliever ever. I never got to pointe but the ballet practice was my favorite. It put my mind at ease...I really need to take up dancing again...

    Ergo - Blog

    ReplyDelete
  8. SO very wise! I work constantly on trying to be & stay present.

    ReplyDelete
  9. That's the first lesson I learnt from dancing too;)

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is so true! I do the same when I go swimming. I just switch off and enjoy the sound of water. It's somehow freeing, isn't it? Btw: I adore this post. Kisses, sweetie.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I think that's an important attitude to not only have in dance...but all other avenues, including work and being a mom! Beautifully written.

    ReplyDelete
  12. @Chloe- You visited! Missed you, girl!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Love this post! I'm able to do that when I got in to teach. I am completely focused on dance and I'm able to forget about whatever issues I am having that day.

    Amy

    Fashion and Beauty Finds

    ReplyDelete
  14. Every sport I played used that "philosophy" both ways. They used to say, "leave it on the court" or "leave it on the field." What happened at home wasn't supposed to affect how I played.

    When we lost a game, we left it there on the field. Not to take home. We left it. Moved on. Athletes of all kinds (softball, volleyball, running, cheer, DANCE) learn these things as children and FOR SURE not a day goes by that I don't "leave it at the office" or "leave it at home."

    Thanks for sharing! Pretty pics.

    {www.heatheringheights.com}

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh yes...basketball for me. Leave it on the court. : ) Also, my pottery classes were very much an escape for me. We weren't told to leave it at the door, but something about smooth clay under your hands made everything else just fade away.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Well said! I agree that when you "leave it at the door" it makes you realize what's important and that life goes on and so should you.

    Rowena @ rolala loves

    ReplyDelete
  17. oh, what a good post! i think i learned about 'leaving it at the door' because growing up as a military child, we learned how to adjust quickly on just about anything. life may be tough - and you might mourn for a little but then you keep moving forward! :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. So very well said. Lovely post.
    http://shannonhearts.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  19. Such a great post! I don't think I learned this until I graduated from college and was in the working world. What a great thing you learned at an early age. I think being a nurse made me see that my problems were nothing compared to other peoples. I hope to help my kids see how the rest of the world (especially the poor) is compared to us...that they have it pretty good...it's all about perspective.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Dance definitely taught me to leave it at the door, and opera taught me to bring it all in with me. I think that push and pull is one of my strengths as a performer. I can sob over the dead body of my recently suicided sister, and then take the whole thing from Act I–but only onstage!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Another beautiful post! You amaze me lady. Love this perspective and love your introspectiveness (I'm sure I just made that word up).

    ReplyDelete
  22. My dear friend, this is so wonderful, that I shared it on my social media page :) You know what, tho? and I know this is a post for a blogger like me - what happens when you've been doing a version///variation of "leave it at the door" (admittedly, w/ varying success rates!) over the years and - now, you're just. so. dammed. tired. and. you. don't. want. to. do. it. anymore!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Leaving it at the door is the top rule at any ballet studio I ever trained at, and even more so now that I'm finishing up my BA in Dance. My modern teacher's slogan is "Who you are in the studio is who you are in life," and the ballet mistress reminds us regularly to "leave it at the door: come inside and leave the outside world outside. Dance." It's an incredibly focusing and liberating mentality to be instilled in us. Such a wonderful gift we as dancers are given, the ability to let go and devote ourselves to whatever the task at hand is.

    ReplyDelete

Hi! I've changed the comments section so I can more easily respond to you. I never remove comments unless they are horribly offensive or spam. Unless I really really really am interested in your designer discount handbags. Or Viagra.