In Dance, are you Self or Others Oriented? – The Dancing Grapevine






In my expertise, there’s a spectrum between being Others-Oriented or Self-Oriented with reference to each dance and life. In dance, these orientations have an effect on nearly all our interactions. Typically talking, Others-Oriented dancers concentrate on the vitality they launch into the world round them, whereas the Self-Oriented dancer is extra involved with what they expertise.

Let’s discuss extra about how this informs our dance relationships.

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As you begin to learn this, lots of you might be in all probability routinely considering “of COURSE I’m Others-Oriented! I’m not egocentric, and I care in regards to the experiences my companions have!” Let’s take a step again from that.

Being Self-Oriented shouldn’t be a destructive. By nature, most of us – together with me – are self-oriented. I usually don’t wrestle with boundaries, and the way I expertise dance is essential to me. That doesn’t imply that I lack look after the neighborhood. Quite the opposite, I care deeply for the folks round me. However, I’m extra predisposed to ensure I’m OK first. Once I don’t, I really feel unappreciated, annoyed, and lack success.

A variety of dancers are this fashion. Most individuals are in dance as a result of dance provides them one thing: connection, buddies, fame, admiration, health, cash… the listing goes on. Many of those persons are additionally extremely concerned of their communities in a deeply constructive approach – however on the finish of the day, in the event that they don’t get what they’re searching for from dance, they’re left feeling empty or dissatisfied.

In distinction, Others-Oriented dancers are much less regularly present in positions of energy, however are often ardent supporters throughout the neighborhood of individuals they belief and like. They’re often very fast to know and provides deference to different folks’s wants with out feeling like they’ve given one thing up. They do wrestle with “understanding themselves” and setting boundaries, and are sometimes individuals who find yourself very drained or overwhelmed with out fairly understanding why.

I’ve put collectively a quiz so that you can see the place on the spectrum you doubtless fall.

Typically talking, listed below are some traits of Others-Oriented and Self-Oriented dancers:


The beauty of being Others-Oriented is that your exterior focus makes you a primary candidate for neighborhood constructing and together with others. You’re doubtless actually good about spreading the love, and are much less prone to have a small group of buddies you intermingle with. You doubtless discover it simple to share your “complete self” with companions, no matter ability stage, and have a excessive tolerance for annoyances and unhealthy habits.

Chances are you’ll be the one that is ready to join with those who most others discover tough, irritating, or odd, and assist them blossom. You in all probability additionally hardly ever complain, and are usually regarded as a “brilliant spot” inside dance (no less than externally). You’re extra prone to recognize being a trusted and preferred member of the social neighborhood than a superb dancer. A praise from a scared newbie that you just made really feel secure doubtless would imply extra to you than reward out of your favorite star in your fundamental steps. You understand how a lot it hurts when somebody says or does one thing imply – and also you actually don’t need to do this to anybody else.

The tough factor about being Others-Oriented is that you could be wrestle with giving voice to (and even admitting) the issues that trouble you. You additionally might have issue understanding what you need or want out of a dance neighborhood. Somewhat than feeling dissatisfied or underappreciated, you’re extra prone to really feel such as you’re not giving sufficient to be worthy of your standing – or just burned out with out with the ability to perceive why.


The beauty of being a balanced Self-Oriented is that you understand you’re in dance since you need to be there and achieve enjoyment from it. You are also doubtless extra keen to go away it if it stops serving you in that approach. You’re doubtless extra conscious of what make you cheerful and sad.

You usually tend to actually decide to coaching and self-improvement, in an effort to meet that want that you need to be good at what you do and to enhance. The opinions of your companions and mentors of your skills doubtless imply so much to you.

The tough factor about being Self-Oriented is that you just would possibly end up to be hypercritical of others – and your self. Whilst you’re good at understanding what you need, you’re additionally good at understanding what you don’t need (even if you happen to don’t admit it), and should wrestle with the endurance to tolerate these issues. You may additionally want frequent reassurance about your expertise and price throughout the neighborhood to really feel a way of belonging.

The True Purpose: Balanced Dancers

The healthiest dancers in the neighborhood are these which are capable of finding steadiness between the 2 ends of the spectrum. The nearer you might be to balanced, the extra doubtless you might be to be glad and a contributing member of the neighborhood.

A balanced dancer is one which focuses each on their particular person expertise and the collective good of the neighborhood. For instance, they could know they want reward and admiration – but additionally ensure that to provide others that reward and admiration to elevate them up. Or, they could know that they want to be ready of affect – but additionally take steps to make sure that their affect is in the very best pursuits of the neighborhood.

Balanced dancers additionally acknowledge that their boundaries and desires are essential, and are good at managing the steadiness between giving what they will and taking what they want. For instance, recognizing that it’s OK to discover a completely good particular person an exhausting dance associate you can solely dance with generally. One other instance is saying one thing when somebody makes you uncomfortable somewhat than resorting to passive-aggressive suggestions (or, within the various, not saying something after which feeling violated later).

Reaching steadiness appears to be like totally different relying in your base orientation. Listed here are 4 sorts of imbalances that always come up:

Trauma, Sickness, and Imbalance

Some dancers are ready the place they’ve skilled one thing traumatic inside or outdoors of the dance neighborhood that results in a bodily or emotional lack of security. Others might wrestle with a bodily or psychological sickness that basically alters their interactions with the broader dance neighborhood – which might additionally embody addictions that may be exacerbated in some teams. These folks fall outdoors the conventional scope of being “out of steadiness”, and will doubtless search skilled help to assist them perceive what they should thrive and develop inside their lives and, by extension, their dance communities.

Others-Oriented Imbalance #1: The Burnout

This often occurs after a protracted interval because the “dependable one”. They get issues performed, are at all times keen to assist out, and simply are an all-around good useful resource. However, particularly if these in cost don’t acknowledge that they aren’t actually caring for themselves, this may result in a burnout.

The Burnout suffers from giving an excessive amount of – and doesn’t notice it earlier than it’s too late. Not like the Self-Oriented Paradox, the Burnout doesn’t have the sentiments of dissatisfaction driving anxiousness; they only… cease functioning. They develop into overwhelmed, unable to say “no”, and lose sight of why they’re even there within the first place.

Their methods must concentrate on recognizing workloads and steadiness earlier than they discover themselves inexplicably exhausted. For instance:

  1. Itemize: Should you’re the one that is at all times getting requested to do issues or spends a number of time on features involving neighborhood constructing, make a listing. How a lot of your time is that this truly taking? How a lot of your time in dance is spent in your improvement, development, and delight? If it’s leaning too far in a single path, you could must right it.
  2. Determine what you need: Even when it’s not evident, there’s something this neighborhood is giving again to you. Determine what it’s – and how one can fill that want economically. For instance, in case your want is to really feel essential to the neighborhood, what expressions of appreciation make you are feeling good? How a lot time do you must spend on that for a superb return in your funding?
  3. Ask for it: Lastly, you must use your voice to ask for what you want – and to say “no” when it’s an excessive amount of. You actually don’t want to provide that particular person a journey dwelling at three within the morning each week if you happen to’re drained and have work the subsequent day. Should you get pleasure from it, nice! However, if it’s beginning to really feel like a chore, it’s time to have a dialog.

Others-Oriented Imbalance #2: The At-Threat

The At-Threat is prone to view the dance neighborhood by way of rose-coloured glasses. Often, these folks additionally gentle up the room with kindness and constructive vitality, and will be the topic of envy. They’re doubtless getting their (often unconscious) wants met by the neighborhood as an entire, and appear fully content material and trusting inside their atmosphere. They could not even acknowledge their very own interpersonal boundaries.

Sadly, these folks usually discover themselves most in danger for boundary-crossing points. Their optimism and want to see the constructive can result in a false sense of safety and a hesitancy to set boundaries with different folks (in the event that they even know what their boundaries are). And, they will usually really feel undeserving of their place throughout the neighborhood, actually wanting as much as everybody round them with out recognizing their intrinsic worth and desires.

Their rebalancing methods concentrate on recognizing and setting boundaries for themselves. For instance:

  1. Establish your desires and desires: The primary objective is to achieve a way of your individual id, and to determine if there are any wants or desires that you must identify for long-term success.
  2. Personal your strengths and accomplishments: You do contribute to the neighborhood, and completely deserve the great that comes your approach. Should you wrestle with accepting what folks give to you, remind your self that it isn’t unhealthy to just accept reward.
  3. Set Boundaries, even when it’s onerous: Saying “no” and setting boundaries could also be very onerous for you. Keep your identical care and consideration of others once you set boundaries, however do study that it’s OK to resolve what interactions you’d wish to be a part of – and to inform folks once you’re not OK with one thing. Should you grasp this, you generally is a function mannequin for others who wrestle on methods to say “no” gracefully.

Self-Oriented Imbalance #1: The Egocentric

The Egocentric may be very snug in what they need. They’re blissful to take steps to ensure they’ve what they want and want in the neighborhood. They’re very snug with their boundaries, and have a status for his or her bluntness. Externally, these are sometimes considered because the “thoughtless” dancers. They could not learn folks’s boundaries nicely, flip professional’s into dance monkeys, and clique – the factor is, they’re completely positive with this.

What these people don’t at all times notice is that these actions are having an impression on the dance neighborhood round them. Their steadiness has to come back from contemplating their impression on others, and taking steps to ensure they preserve their neighborhood wholesome.

Egocentric-Imbalanced dancers profit most from methods that lets them quantify and analyze their impacts on the neighborhood, and perceive what’s of their finest pursuits long run. These dancers can convey themselves again into steadiness by:

  1. Contemplating Affect earlier than Motion: Take into consideration how phrases or actions might impression others round them earlier than performing on these impulses. Isn’t it fantastic if you happen to can keep away from upsetting somebody and coping with all that drama? Should you wrestle with physique language or social cues, it might be value speaking to a therapist, coach, or trusted instructor about
  2. Consider the Lengthy Time period: Having a superb status amongst folks will enable you to and the neighborhood. Individuals like dancing with those who they like, and placing some acutely aware work into establishing a wholesome neighborhood truly advantages your funding in the long term.
  3. Acutely aware Giving: Discover methods to provide to the neighborhood with out sacrificing your enjoyment. Possibly it’s financial; perhaps it’s a concerted effort to bounce with no less than 2 novices per occasion. Possibly it’s making a acutely aware effort to smile and be good once you’re turning somebody down, or asking a harassed organizer a query.

Self-Oriented Imbalance #2: The Paradox

Generally, Self-Oriented dancers want they have been Others-Oriented. In an effort to be “higher”, they attempt to be extra giving to the neighborhood whereas ignoring or suppressing what they need or want. This results in the Self-Oriented Paradox, which is definitely summed up because the intersection of repression and denial.

These dancers are Self-Oriented, however have a robust consciousness of the interpersonal features of dance. For a lot of, they usually don’t need to be Self-Oriented as a result of they see being Others-Oriented as extra fascinating and good. So, as an alternative of accepting that they’re in dance due to what it provides them, they attempt to undertake an Others-Oriented persona by repressing their voice and denying the “egocentric” elements of themselves.

Typically, this results in a deep feeling of dissatisfaction as a result of it magnifies emotions of dissatisfaction and underappreciation that unfulfilled Self-Oriented folks have already got. They could deny that they’re jealous, or discover causes to ‘blame’ others for why they’re defensive, reject dances, or keep on with a small group of buddies. In any case, if you happen to can justify your behaviour, it feels so much much less like that icky phrase ‘egocentric’.

Generally, Paradox dancers additionally derive a considerable amount of their self-worth from what they understand others consider them. Getting reward, encouragement, and a focus from outdoors sources helps to fill the void for a brief period of time – till the reward runs dry for a spell, and also you’re left feeling empty once more. They could additionally must critique or criticize themselves or others regularly, and strongly want to be a community-chosen authority.

These Self-Oriented dancers want to know that honouring themselves and their wants is essential to a wholesome dance life – however that doing this kindly is simply as essential. Some try to start out this journey, however they do it through the use of instruments higher suited to a real Others-Oriented dancer. Some nice instruments embody:

  1. Acknowledge your Needs and Wants: Chances are you’ll resist acknowledging your desires and desires as a result of they really feel “egocentric”. It’s OK to need consideration, admiration, or ability. These are pure, and whereas some are handled as “lower than”, all generally is a completely acceptable want if the actions surrounding them are constructive and sort. Personal the elements of your self that really feel egocentric, however…
  2. Resist the Blame Urge: …watch out that in your quest to acknowledge all features of your self that kindness and understanding are forefront. It’s simple to overcompensate to “I don’t care what anybody thinks! I’m honouring myself!” however the fact is… it does matter in case your wishes, boundaries and needs unnecessarily begin hurting others. For instance, it’s OK to ask for much less thumb stress (even 10x), however it’s not OK to start out passive-aggressively rolling your eyes at that associate, or inconsiderately snubbing those who aren’t in your “favourites” listing.
  3. Discover Self-Made Synergies: You’re already conscious that giving is a crucial a part of the neighborhood’s sustainability and happiness, so discover ways in which what you give can match up with what you hope to obtain. For instance, if you happen to want admiration, give in ways in which enable others to see and recognize your openness and kindness. Whatever the methods that you just select, notice that on the finish of the day you’re accountable for ensuring that you just discover what you must be blissful.

Understanding the place you naturally fall in your perspective – and the ruts you can develop into trapped in – can assist you to actually self-assess and make enhancements to your dance happiness. Bear in mind: there isn’t a disgrace in being self- or other- oriented. Each features are essential to a cheerful, fantastic dance life and neighborhood.

One factor I like to make use of is the “however” method. This implies figuring out a path you may develop in or a behavior you might have, however recognizing what you must do to steadiness that out. Right here’s some examples:

  • “I’m actually good at searching for out good dances for myself, however I want to recollect to spend a while dancing with these on the sidelines, too.”
  • “I’m engaged on vocalizing my boundaries higher, however I want to recollect to be sort when doing so.”
  • “I’m actually glad that I can contribute to the neighborhood, however I want to recollect to additionally do issues that profit my very own development and desires.”
  • “I actually wrestle with insecurity and jealousy that shows itself by way of criticizing others, however I’m engaged on deliberately recognizing these urges and saying one thing good about them as an alternative.”

The place did you fall on the spectrum? Are there any methods you are feeling would profit you? Go away them within the feedback, or share in your wall.

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