Sorah Yang's 9 Ways To Get Out Of A Dance Funk

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Sorah Yang's 9 Ways To Get Out Of A Dance Funk

Sorah Yang
January 23, 2024
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As much as we all love dance, it's not realistic to be 100% inspired 24/7. Sometimes you fall into slumps where you feel especially jaded, uninspired, and unmotivated. You may even find yourself questioning if you’re even good enough to continue. As artists, it’s so easy to slip into these periods during which you feel your growth has become stagnant. It's frustrating and discouraging – but you don't have to stay stuck there.

See Related Article: Overcome Your Dance Fears And Live A Creative Life I was actually in one of these funks as I wrote this. After taking a self-pitying nap this afternoon, I woke up determined to get myself out of it. So, I decided to share some tools I personally use when I’m feeling funky:

1. Give yourself a break.

Nothing is more discouraging to me than when I feel like every piece I create is garbage, or when I take classes that make me feel like a terrible dancer.

While it’s good to push, it’s also good to step back and take a break.

When you come back from your hiatus, you’ll be so tired of beating yourself up and feel so artistically refreshed that you’ll be ready to create and dance again.

See Related Article: 5 Counter-Intuitive Concepts To Help You Become A Better Dancer

How long should these breaks be, you ask?

However long you need. There's no rush!

2. Get off your computer/phone.

Lack of productivity is a dance slump's best friend.

And fewer things make you feel more unproductive than gluing your eyeballs to social media and spending hours on BuzzFeed reading articles and binging on Netflix shows.

See Related Article: Dancers On Instagram VS. Dancers In Real Life

Instead, partake in activities that make you feel productive.

3. Do nice things for people.

Give food to a homeless person.

Pay for someone’s coffee.

Send a hand-written note.

Give people genuine compliments.

See Related Article: How To Cultive Positive Relationships In The Dance Community

While you might be questioning your purpose in life during this “funk,” you’ll at least know that you’re doing something to contribute to making the world a better place.

4. Express yourself in different artistic outlets.

When I feel jaded from dance, I turn to my guitar and sing.

Whether the outlets are serious passions or just simple hobbies that you have fun doing, it’ll keep your artistic juices stimulated even during periods of limbo.

See Related Article: 4 Simple Things Choreographers Can Do To Stay Inspired

5. Watch videos of your old self dancing.

We put so much unnecessary pressure on ourselves to get to the point of “AMAZINGNESS” so quickly, that we often fail to appreciate how far we’ve come.

As a special treat to STEEZY readers, here is an unlisted link of an atrocious piece that I privated on YouTube awhile ago, because I was embarrassed by it (this was difficult for me to watch, so prepare your eyes):

6. Exercise.

Or if you’re like me and dislike exercising, go on a nice walk.

See Related Article: How To Keep The Best Physical Condition When You Don’t Have Rehearsals

7. Simplify.

The human species is obsessed with dramatically over-complicating just about everything.

See Related Article: Why It’s More Important For Dance To FEEL Good, Than Look Good

As soon as you simplify your thoughts you’ll realize that the things you consider a “big deal” are really nothing, and the solutions to our unpleasant feelings are often simpler than we make them out to be.

Simplifying leads to clarity, and clarity leads to inspiration.

8. Catch up with friends that you’ve been neglecting because you’ve been so busy chasing your dreams.

Let’s face it, a lot of us are guilty of this.

Good friends who have been with you since the beginning are always great reminders to us that there are people who really believe in and support what you're doing.

See Related Article: The 9 Best People In Any Dancer's Life

These are the friends we should be paying attention to instead of allocating 90% of our energy on the 10% of people who might not support us.

There are few things more motivating than the support you get from people who truly care about you.

9. Remember why you dance.

If you constantly pull yourself back to earth and remember the core reason behind why you dance in the first place (for fun, for the love of it, to express yourself, etc.) you'll realize that you shouldn't take yourself too seriously, ever.

See Related Article: Why I'm Thankful To Be A Dancer

At the end of the day it’s all about being easier on ourselves and accepting funks as part of the cyclical nature of artistic progression.I bet even Queen B herself has her off-days (although she is really incredible at hiding it...but we can’t all be Beyonce, can we?).What do YOU do when you get in to a funk? Leave a comment below!

You can learn from Sorah Yang yourself on STEEZY Studio! Take her classes and see just how effective these tips were for her.This article was written by Sorah Yang and originally published on May 7, 2014.