Sometimes we step away from our craft, other times life pulls us away against our will. This is a friendly reminder that taking time away is not going to hurt you in your shuffle journey, it may actually be beneficial.
A lot of people say to practice the thing you love every day in order to see improvement. Is there truth to this? Yes. But is it complete? No. In fact, you can take time away from your craft while still getting better!
Think about shuffling as if you were an athlete: Not only do you play the sport, you spend time studying strategy, you build strength through various types of workouts (strength, mobility/agility, endurance), you make sure you’re eating a nutritious diet, you invest in the proper gear (clothing, shoes, etc.), you rest your body and get enough sleep to recover. Separately these are important contributing factors, but when combined you’re truly able to tap into your fullest potential.
It’s also important to be holistic in your shuffle practice, that means paying attention to your mental well-being in addition to the physical. Creativity, for example, doesn’t always pour out of our cup with ease. We have to fill it back up with new sources of inspiration so that we can continue to express in different ways.
As with everything in life there are highs and lows in your shuffle journey as well; sometimes we ride the learning wave absorbing fresh moves and new concepts, other times we hit a plateau, simply lack the energy or need a different source of inspiration. Below are some suggestions for navigating the lows and getting you to those peak highs:
Leaning into your emotions
Are you feeling angry? Maybe this calls for some heavy cali-inspired stomping. Are you in your feels? Try listening to some uplifting trance and let that higher bpm boost your heart rate and serotonin levels
Stretching your body
Slow down and work on mobility - release tension (stress) that’s pent up in muscles
Listening to new music
Tip: Sometimes it’s not easy to find something that sounds good in the moment, never be afraid to ask your friends what they’re listening to - you’ll be surprised what the people around you have to offer. We all know the magic embedded in an amazing track. That sh*t mooooves you!
Join a challenge
Build strength and stamina
Becoming a stronger dancer can help you move more confidently and fluidly, while building stamina will help push through the cardio-component of shuffling
Learn unfamiliar styles of dance
There are so many virtual classes available these days! You can also find fun tutorials that force you to incorporate different parts of your body, for example Tutting, Voguing, Tektonik and/or Muzzing for arm-work
Dancing to various genres and tempos
House music might be your jam right now, but have you picked up the notch and explored techno? Maybe you want to slow it down some, try playing some early 2000’s Hip Hop & RnB instead
Watching different shufflers/dancers
Have you checked out shufflers from different parts of the world? Maybe you want to look into different styles of dance like Break Dance, Popping and Locking, or Krumping
Add new footwork & shuffle combos to your vocabulary
Step-by-step tutorials can be extremely beneficial in learning new movement. Explore our library of tutorials for more inspiration and thorough break-downs
Explore new platforms
“I think it’s important in life to appreciate the chapters as they come as opposed to getting down on yourself for having a period of time where you’re dancing a little bit less than in a previous period. With that being said we can be mindful during periods of less motivation so once it does return we can dive headfirst into our craft. What I mean by that is something I like to call mindful marination: We’re lucky because scrolling on Instagram can be a way of studying other dancers and becoming inspired, but a lot of times scrolling becomes mindless. So what you can do is try to be extremely mindful when scrolling and think of it more as marinating in inspiration overtime. Of course in the beginning of the shuffle journey it’s easy to wanna shuffle every day because there are endless things to learn and get better at, but as you go along you have to seek out inspiration and new things to learn with a bit more intention.” - Tyler / @Bgirldern
"When in a “shuffle rut” taking some time and attention away from shuffling helps me break down free of patterns I find myself stuck in. Simply clearing the mind and making space for other activities allows different thought processes to occur, therefore encouraging a different perspective when I step back into my dancing shoes. Another important piece in finding my way back to that fiery passionate place comes in adjusting my mindset. Some say to think back to why we started dancing in the first place, I want to encourage us to think back to how we felt the first times we found ourselves in a state of flow: Detached from everything, mind and body fully immersed in the music, the moment - soul flowing in freedom. Another big source of motivation and inspiration comes from shuffling with a group of my friends or other shufflers in the community. Seeing people shuffle in-person is a completely different experience than watching a recording through a screen. Not to mention, we can hype each other up and feed off the energy shared between us." - Brigitte / @Briggidy
So, should you take time away from shuffling if you’re feeling unmotivated and uninspired? Yes! Let your mind and body rest and reset every once in a while. Find new sources of inspiration, different ways to move, and fresh sounds. Fall in love with this dance all over again. We’re on this shuffle journey for the long run after-all.
On that note, we want to thank y'all for being so incredibly patient and supportive during the past couple of months. We went hard in at the beginning of the year with new choreography every week, and several offerings of our month-long master class. After some much needed time off your girls at The Shuffle Circle are super pumped to jump back into creating content and sharing our 6+ years of shuffle knowledge and wisdom.
Through the month of October we'll be adding new tutorials available individually or via a monthly subscription.
A heads up: We just released three new step-by-step tutorials, Check them out!
See you in the Circle!
B & T