Raise your hand if there are days – lots of days – when you just don’t feel like getting on your feet to practice your dance craft?   Ok, weeks? I go through huge ebbs and tides of motivation. One week I’ll dance at home every day and create new choreographies or combos* and then I’ll go through weeks of having to force myself to just go to class. At-home practice becomes a mirage that’s just too far from the couch and my glass of wine to bother with.

*Here’s a secret – I will save video clips or combos from those high tide weeks to sprinkle throughout the low tide weeks on my social media for my online tribe.

Or what about those of you who work full time, maybe even two jobs, and come home to a ton of housework and no time for your own fun? Or those who are raising children and can never seem to find a moment or space to yourself to focus on at-home practice? The struggle is real, even professionals have it.

What do I do to spark motivation on days when:

  1.  There is no time.

  2. There is no space.

  3. I just don’t feel motivated.

  4. I don’t know where to start.

This is my one-song, three minute, no-thinking, doesn’t have to be pretty, do it in work clothes at your desk, or in between commercials breaks, right when I get out of bed,  or after dinner, or when I’m brushing my teeth body wake-up.  Maybe it’s all you’ve got time or energy for today. Maybe it will invigorate you physically and help you move forward to something else. Maybe it will unblock the creativity rut you’re in and just get you absent-mindedly moving. I hope it helps you. Note: I’m not a physician or a physical therapist – just a dance enthusiast. Consult a doctor or a local expert if you have questions or concerns about anything related to physical activity.

Move your body 5 ways with the ABCs:

A is for ankles.

They are your grounding point and need to be strong and flexible to carry you in any direction.  Roll them around however you can.

B is for bouncing.

 (Be gentle!)  Get your knees moving and shift your weight around. Doesn’t matter how or where you go with it. March in place for all I care. 

C is for concave/convex – as in, your spine.

 Flex your back in and out and side to side if you can. Again, be gentle – not trying to practice your back-bends or anything right now. Just get those vertebrae loosened up from their too-often hunched position.

D is for diaphragm.

Take some deep breaths from your core. Let your diaphragm expand deep in the belly rather than lifting up your chest.  Try filling your lungs quickly in a few counts and then blowing it out slowly. Then in slowly and out forcefully.  Try a few rounds of short in-in-in-in and out-out-out-out breaths.  Try out a belly flutter.  It’s great to oxygenate the blood, but be careful not to go overboard and get light-headed!

E is for elbows.

Moving your elbows in turn will move your arms and shoulders, which is what I’m really after here.  Doesn’t have to be pretty or dancey – just rotate them every direction and swing them around. Who knows, maybe you’ll discover a new arm movement to add to your next combo!

That’s it -nothing fancy or exciting or groundbreaking. Just a mindless exercise to get me physically moving. Do you have other easy go-to body movement references? Share them!   Tag @everydaytribal on Instagram, @Everyday Tribal on Facebook, or leave a comment here!