[中][ENG] 舞者的抗逆力 The Resilient Dancer

舞動潛能

Optimizing Dancers’ Performance



The Resilient Dancer


Text: Brenton Surgenor


Photo: HKAPA School of Dance


The relentless pursuit of technical and artistic excellence can take a toll on dancers mentally as well as physically. Dancers need to be resilient to thrive in the dance world. But what does it mean to be a resilient dancer, and how can we work with dancers to help them develop the resilience they need to flourish?


Resilience


Resilience is the ability to cope with stressful and difficult moments in life and is often described as a person’s ability to bounce back after challenging experiences. Resilience can also be seen as extra protection against the negative thoughts and feelings that come with life’s more difficult experiences. Whether they are faced with an injury, an unsuccessful audition, or performing badly in a dance class, by developing resilience dancers can cope with these and other major and minor life challenges.


Positive relationships play an important role in building the resilience of a dancer. This starts at a young age when family environments that provide structure and safety have positive effects on the development of psychological resilience. Dance training environments also have a major influence on building resilient dancers, as they provide structures and opportunities for students to learn and develop skills and talents. However, even if your early life experiences were not ideal for the development of resilience, research shows it is never too late to become a more resilient dancer. Here are two ways to help you and/or your dancers develop resilience.


Focus on Your Strengths


Rather than focus on what you are not good at, focus on what you are good at and use this to support areas of weakness. Before you can use your strengths, you will first need to identify what these are. The good news is everyone has strengths. These are the things that you are naturally good at and come easily to you, which is why sometimes it is difficult for us to recognize them as strengths.


Sometimes it is easier for others to see our strengths, so one way to identify your strengths is to sit with a good friend and ask them what they think your strengths are. This should lead to a very affirming conversation as your friend helps you identify all the things which you are great at doing. Another way to identify your strengths is to answer the following questions with a focus on the objective truth. This is no time for modesty, you are the only one who will see your answers, so be honest about the things you do best.


  1. What is the best thing about you?

  2. What do you like most about yourself?

  3. What are you like when you are at your best?

  4. What, or who brings out the best in you?

  5. What is your most significant achievement?

  6. How have your strengths helped you in the past?

  7. How can your strengths help you in the future?


There is even an online questionnaire that can help you identify your top five character strengths (the VIA Brief Strengths Test: https://bit.ly/3uz5i8B). This is part of a research project by the University of Pennsylvania in the USA and requires registration with the programme. If you are interested in doing this, the questionnaire will give you a list of your character strengths and you may take the top five (discard the rest), pin the list to your fridge or in your locker and look at it every day to remind you of your character strengths.


Once you have identified your strengths, commit to using them in a new way at least once a week. It might be that you discover you are a really well organized person. Commit to looking for moments in your day when you notice how organized things are and how you have helped others (and yourself) with you excellent organizational skills. As you do this you will begin to see how being organized is a strength and that you are really good at it. You can also look to apply these strengths at times of difficulty.


If you have a great sense of humour, remember to use this when you encounter a challenge. Laugh it off, make a joke, and remember you may not have got the job you wanted but you are a fun person to be with and can always make people laugh.


Gratitude


Another way to develop resilience is to have a gratitude practice or to keep a gratitude journal. Research suggests that focusing on what we are thankful for has a significant and positive impact on our wellbeing. Starting a gratitude practice does not have to be a big effort and a great way to begin is to start with small activities. Start the day by thinking about something you are thankful for. It could be getting a good night’s sleep, speaking with a friend, or taking a class that inspired you. You could then start a gratitude journal where you write down three things that you are grateful for each day. These things might be as simple as a great yoga class, a healthy breakfast, or seeing improvement in your dance technique. By becoming aware of what we are grateful for, and taking note of these things, we can replace, or avoid altogether, the negative thoughts associated with difficult situations in life.


These are just two approaches to help care for ourselves and develop resilience. By developing resilience we are putting a reserve of positive energy in the tank for when things are difficult or when we are becoming preoccupied with negative events. Resilient dancers can maintain their self-efficacy (i.e. a personal judgment of how well (or poorly) you are able to cope in a given situation based on the skills you have and the situation encountered) and their confidence even when they are facing difficult and challenging situations. If you are interested in learning more ways to develop and maintain resilience check out some of the references below and learn more ways to thrive and flourish as dancers and in everything that you do.


References


Seligman, M.E., 2012. Flourish: A visionary new understanding of happiness and well-being. Simon and Schuster.

Duckworth, A., & Duckworth, A. (2016). Grit: The power of passion and perseverance (Vol. 234). New York, NY: Scribner.

Authentic Happiness website: www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu



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Brenton Surgenor

Senior Lecturer in Dance Science at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.

Brenton is a teacher, qualified psychotherapist, and wellness coach. He integrates a variety of somatic, physical, and psychological practices into his work, and is an active member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy.




 

舞者的抗逆力


原文:商俊樂

翻譯:余曉彤


攝:HKAPA School of Dance


不懈地追求技術和藝術上的卓越,可能會在精神上和身體上給舞者構成耗損。舞者需要有抗逆力才能在舞蹈界發展成功。但一個有抗逆力的舞者意味著甚麼呢?我們如何與舞者合作並幫助他們建立抗逆力呢?


抗逆力


抗逆力是指生活上遇到壓力和困難時的應對能力,通常被形容為一個人在經過具挑戰性經歷後反彈的能力。抗逆力亦被看作是用來抵禦生活中較艱難的經歷而帶來負面思想和感覺時的額外保護措施。無論是面對傷患,不成功的面試,還是在舞蹈課上表現未如理想,透過建立抗逆力,舞者便可以應對上述那些事情,以及生活中的大小挑戰。


正面的關係對於建立舞者的抗逆力有著重要作用。從幼年開始,一個提供結構和安全的家庭環境對心理抗逆力的發展有著積極影響。舞蹈訓練環境也同樣對培養有抗逆力的舞者有著重大影響,因為它們提供了學習和發展技能和才華的架構和機會。不過,即使你早期的生活經驗對建立抗逆力並不理想,研究發現要成為一個更有抗逆力的舞者,永遠不會太遲。以下是兩個幫助你和/或你的舞者建立抗逆力的方法。


專注於自己的優勢


與其只專注於自己不擅長的領域,不如專注於自己擅長的地方,並用它彌補和支持較弱的方面。在能使用你的優勢之前,首先需要確定它們是甚麼。好消息是每個人都有自己的優勢。這些是你天生擅長並容易展現的,這就是為甚麼有時候我們很難將它們視為優勢的原因。


有時他人更容易看到我們的優勢,因此確定你的長處的其中一種方法便是與一個好朋友一起交談,問問他所看到你的長處是甚麼。這般誠懇的對話會為你帶來肯定的同時,你的朋友也可助你看到並確認自己所擅長的事情。另一種方法是客觀並認真地回答以下問題。這是無需謙虛或者謙讓,因為你是唯一會看到答案的人,因此請誠實地說出自己所做得最好的事情。


1. 關於你最好的地方是甚麼?

2. 你最喜歡自己的甚麼?

3. 當你處於最佳狀態時,感覺是怎樣的?

4. 甚麼東西,或者誰,可以帶出你最好的一面?

5. 你最重要的成就是甚麼?

6. 你的優勢在過去對你有甚麼幫助?

7. 你的優勢在未來能如何幫助你?


網上也有問卷幫助你確定你前五個性格強項(VIA簡短強項測試:https://bit.ly/3uz5i8B)。這是美國賓夕法尼亞州大學一項研究計劃的一部分,使用者需要有課程註冊。若你有興趣嘗試,這個問卷將會給你列出你主要的性格強項,然後你便可選擇前五項(其餘的暫且不論),然後將這列表黏上雪櫃或儲物櫃上,每天看到時就能提醒自己所具有的性格強項。


一旦確定了自己的強項和優勢,便應每週至少一次用新的方式去運用它們。假設你發現自己是一個非常有條理的人,便致力在一日內尋找當你注意到事物如何有條理地被組織好,以及你如何用出色的組織技能幫助他人(和你自己)的片刻。當你這樣做時,你便將開始看到有條理其實是一種優勢,而且是你真的很擅長的優勢。你也可以在遇到困難時嘗試運用這些優勢。


如果你有很強的幽默感,記得在遇到挑戰時使用它。一笑置之,開個玩笑,並記住你可能沒有得到想要的工作,但你仍是一個很有趣,為大家帶來笑聲的人。


感激


另一種建立抗逆力的方法是練習感恩,或擁有一本記錄感恩的日記。研究建議當我們專注於所感恩的事物時, 會對我們的身心健康有著重大並且正面積極的影響。開始感恩練習並不一定需要特別大的努力,從小小的活動開始已經是非常好的方法。每天由想著一樣你感恩的事情開始,可以是一個質量很好的睡眠,與朋友的交談,或者上了一堂非常有啟發性的課。然後你可以開始編寫一本感恩日記,每日寫下當日你感恩的三件事。這些可以是很簡單的事情,例如上了一堂很棒的瑜伽課,吃了一頓健康的早餐,或者看到自己舞蹈技巧得到改善。透過意識到我們所感恩的事情並將他們記錄下來,我們便可以取代或完全避免聯想那些與生活中艱難處境相關的消極思想。


這只是其中兩種照顧自己並建立抗逆力的方法。通過建立及增強抗逆力,我們可以提前預留正面的能量,於遇到困難的情況下或過於擔心消極事件的時候使用。 具有抗逆力的舞者即使在面對困難和挑戰性的情況下,也能夠保持自我效能(例如能夠以自身擁有的技能及看清所需面對的情景,判斷自己能否勝任)和自信。 如果你有興趣學習更多開發和維持抗逆力的方法,請查閱以下的參考資料,並了解更多讓你在舞蹈以及其他方面都可以成功發展的方法。


更多詳情,請查閱英文版本。



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商俊樂

香港演藝學院高級講師(舞蹈科學)

商俊樂是一位教師及心理治療師。他將身心學、生理及心理的知識和實踐整合,並運用到他的工作上。同時他也是英國心理輔導及治療協會的活躍會員。



This column is in collaboration with: School of Dance, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

本欄合作伙伴:香港演藝學院舞蹈學院


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