Since then, the dance company has performed at the Inman Park Festival, began learning two new works, crafted another to be presented this weekend at the Modern Atlanta Dance (MAD) festival, throwing in a high school workshop and a round of "dragon" school shows. "Down time" has been dedicated to rehearsal, PT, work etc. (You heard the air quotes on that too didn't ya?) So in a moment of quiet I wanted to share one of those things that keeps me on task and mostly sane.
A frequent visitor to our class noticed my humming different tunes as I went through my prep for rehearsal. I explained that it was my "theme song" for the day. My doctor likes it that I have "motivational music" to help me stay up and moving. Some days, when I am facing an "adventure" i.e. life challenges, it's the theme from "Indiana Jones", over-scheduled days you can hear the Lone Ranger Overture. Multi multi-task days, the most common, I "insert Circus Music here". The idea is to move to the music in my head, keeping time to propel me forward through whatever sort of body issues are thrown in my way. I find when I can push along until rehearsal or any morning begins, in the end, I leave feeling better, even if it's a better sort of tired.
Theme songs set a tone, an emotional backdrop, for my mind. Thinking a happy tune can brighten your outlook, even if only to put a sarcastic spin on things. Venting via a hard bass line, or centering over a melodic one brings focus when my brain is racing with too many or even unconjoined thoughts. As a dancer, I seem to have the best performances when I remind myself to relax into the movement and let the music move me. My body knows the choreography; it's my mind that sets into panic.
I find, most of all, my daily tunes are good for the soul. That is why I advocate the practice to anyone. Use the old "mixed tape" format, on whatever music device you have (yeah, I still use actual tape) to put together a playlist as a way to start. Think of media characters, heroes or villains, as many come complete with a theme. Songs from childhood Saturday morning cartoons, opening notes from a family TV night, hummed memories of a grandparent. All these are the music that moves our spirits and our hearts, and can get us passed the chaos of street sounds or even voices of negative thought.
Before performance, there is a time to warm up and connect with the other dancers. In the wings, waiting in the silence, I remind myself to find calm, trust and have fun. When I can do that, the music in my head and the sound in my ears come together, and all I feel is, "I am a dancer….”let’s DO this!”