I feel free lately. Free from the obsession of perfect technique. Free from the worries about what people might think if I dance with my soul. Free from everything that once held me back. My mind was overcomplicating things and making dance harder than it already is on its own.
As silly as it sounds I also forgot to dance. I focused on technique and perfection, which actually hindered my progress. I found that when I let go a little bit the technical part comes slightly easier and with less effort. I would have been way to scared to do this a few months ago. Now it's necessary to give my mind a little break to avoid burn out. I'm not saying I let it all go, but I realize that I don't have to cling to it quite so much. It's not going to escape from me, I already have a good base than can rely on muscle memory.
I find joy in the combinations teachers choreograph that allow movement. I used to dread it, afraid of dancing. What was I afraid of anyway? It's one of the most fun things in the world to leap across the floor using up all the space, or turn an otherwise dreadfully slow and painful combination into an opportunity to milk every movement and develop as an artist. These things once brought dread because all I wanted to do was think about the physical aspect of ballet. While I still enjoy the physical challenge and tweaking technique to make it stronger, I now love the artistic side just as much. It's a good thing I've reached this point, otherwise I wouldn't be much of a dancer.
Sometimes after class I use an empty studio just to dance. I take the pressure off myself of executing flawless technique. I don't let myself become self-conscious of classmate's watching eyes. I have to do this to remember what it feels like to dance. Otherwise I'll forget and wonder why I take class day after day. I still slip back into my old ways of thinking from time to time but I manage to snap out of it. I'm sure that will start to happen less, and I'll be on my way as a relaxed dancer who doesn't stress over every move.