My Role as a Dance Doctor

computer-virusLast week, our computer got attacked!!!  It stopped functioning properly and was pretty much disabled.  We had to send it to a computer specialist who ran several tests and prescribed an anti-virus program to cure it.  It took almost 24 hours to detect and kill over 100 viruses that had infected our computer!  What a bother!   Now that it’s fine, we have installed an anti-virus program that will hopefully prevent it from happening again in the future.

Honestly, we really should have noticed the symptoms of the disease during the past month or so.  Now that we think about it, the computer was definitely running slower and certain programs occasionally failed to respond.   Had we acted sooner and tried to detect the cause of the illness, the infection may not have been so widespread.

It’s like your health.  If you start to feel symptoms of illness, you should go and check it out.  Things like headache, indigestion, diarrhea, vomiting or pain are basically indicators; it’s the body’s way of telling us that it needs to get help.  If you leave certain things untreated, they could potentially lead to serious disease.  Usually, the earlier you catch the problem, the better the prognosis.

doctorAs a dance teacher, I often see myself as an investigative doctor.  My patient comes to me with a bunch of symptoms, and I need to detect the underlying cause.  Whether they have symptoms of fatigue, gapping, racing ahead of the music or being unable to dance together in harmony, it’s up to me to find out why this is happening.  I need to assess the situation thoroughly, find the infection and kill it before it’s too late!

pillsMany people will try and just treat the symptoms.  When we have a headache or a major muscle pain, we pop a Tylenol or Advil and continue on with our everyday lives.  However, maybe the pain is trying to tell us to slow down.  Maybe we need to listen to our bodies before we make our condition even worse.   Perhaps there is something in our daily lifestyle that we could change to make it all go away.  It could be related to ergonomics or stress at home or at work; it could even have something to do with your sleep or eating habits.  If we never find out, chances are, it will keep recurring and you will have to keep popping those pills.

As a dance teacher, I can certainly tell my students to stand up straight and not fall over, or listen more to the music instead of racing ahead of it.  However, most likely they already know that they should be doing that.  My job is not just to point out the what, but to find out exactly why they are not able to do what they should be doing.  Instead of just treating the symptoms, I need to get to the root of the problem.  And that way, later down the road, my students won’t be trying to break bad habits that have been built up for years and years.

There are a multitude of reasons as to why something is going wrong.  But more often than not, the issue almost always comes down to balance.   Why are people off balance?  It could be the inability to rotate a certain joint in the correct position, it could be tightness of a certain muscle group, it could be the lack of flexibility in the upper spine, or it could even be an underlying mental thought process that is blocking the body from achieving something.  Just knowing that you need to be on balance is not enough.  You need to find out where the physical, mental or emotional disturbance is occurring and how you can get rid of it.

Here are 3 tips on how you can avoid infection and disease.

  1. Don’t just treat the symptoms.  Find the underlying cause. Instead of thinking that all you have is a headache, try and figure out why and how it could have been caused.  You never know if it may be linked to some other hidden issue.  [Don’t just fix something by telling yourself to be more balanced or more musical.  Find out why you’re not balanced and fix that instead.]
  2. Get in tune with your body and listen to it. If you have pain, don’t just pop pills and ignore what your body is telling you.  Get help.  If you feel symptoms of illness, listen to them, report them and get them checked out before they affect your long-term health in a negative way.   [Likewise, if you feel pain while dancing, you should tell your instructor right away, because hopefully they can find the root of the problem and prevent future discomfort and injury.]
  3. Get regular check-ups from a good doctor or get a highly effective anti-virus program.  Not only will it detect and kill the root of the problem, but it will prevent the disease from becoming widespread and perhaps irreversible.   [In the language of dance, this means regular lessons every week with a knowledgeble and experienced dance instructor, who can not only treat the symptoms, but identify the hidden cause.]

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