Get Motivated to Dance

Growing up, most of us are familiar with the concept of doing weekly chores for pocket money, or the promise of a treat in exchange for good behaviour. It follows then that a lot of the things we are motivated to do as adults have some sort of end goal in mind. Motivation to do something when there is a reward or incentive attached is all well and good, but the idea of doing something for its sake alone is a trickier notion. 


Journalist Oliver Burkeman writes a column in the Guardian’s weekly magazine called “This Column Will Change Your Life”.  A few years ago, one of these weekly columns permanently changed the way I think about self-discipline and motivation.


The column spoke about novelist, Anthony Trollope, who set about writing every morning between the hours of 5.30-8.30 before leaving for his day job at a Post Office - no matter what. Even if he finished a novel half way through his allotted three hour writing session, he would immediately start penning his next project until the three hours were up.

Three hours of writing per day was all Anthony promised himself. No procrastination, no time to pick faults, and no time to ponder how the finished hardback book would look on the shelves of Waterstones.

People come along to our weekly dance and fitness classes for a multitude of reasons: lose weight, increase flexibility, become a better dancer. But what if we took a leaf out of Anthony Trollope’s book and chose not to fixate on results or outcome but instead managed to replace “lose two stone” or “become more flexible” with, very simply, “dance”. If the only promise we make to ourselves is to dance with absolute conviction twice a week, it stands to reason that we might just tick a few of those other boxes along the way.  But the important thing is, for two hours a week you are a dancer.

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