In this world, where everything is instant, where at the click of the button you can have this or do that, where all knowledge can be looked up and copied and pasted, instead of learned, in our hurry to do things now, we often forget the joy in progression. We’re here to tell you why progression in your art is so important…
So progression… It seems a bit boring, doesn’t it? In the age where we can have whatever we want now and at any time, progression is something we have to build towards, and we have to wait. We are so used to the immediate that it seems we’ve forgotten how to learn and how to achieve. And if everything was so immediate, we would lose interest as quickly as we were interested! Progression isn’t a ‘flash in the pan’ fad, progression is growing yourself, your skill and improving. Progression isn’t wanting and having everything now.
What is progression?
- Progression is commitment
- Progression is learning
- Progression is being passionate
- Progression is building up skills
- Progression is seeing things in the long-term
- Progression is moving through levels to an advanced state – but also not stopping here. It’s continuing that progression to be the best you can be.
- Progression is a healthy state…
“It’s Okay For You, You Can Do It…”
How many times have we heard something along these lines… the ‘You’re lucky, you can do it’ sort of comments. Learning a skill or art is not really down to luck, it’s down to hard graft and a love of what you are doing. There are many hours put into the thing you may see as luck. Many hours repeating, refining and rehearsing. and in the bigger picture, all this hard work is really satisfying and that glow is addictive!
When you are new to a skill, it can be frustrating that you can’t do it all now. So many give up after just one class because they can’t have all the skills now, this minute. You may look at others as being lucky that they appear to be doing things with ease. Yes, there are a handful of people who are naturals at a skill but for the rest of us it takes practice. And practicing all the time you can. If you leave your practice to the one hour (or so) you are in a class then you will never see progression as our brains are playing catch-up for most of that hour and they only take in a fraction of what is learned. And when you do the maths, over one year of attending a class, you may only have spent 52 hours on that one thing. that’s not even three days! If you have the passion you will want to practice – even if it’s just a couple of moves you picked up, or pushing your body into those shapes. So even just doing a 10 minute session a day to practice a move will help. It will create a habit in your body. You will see progression on a weekly basis.
Sowing That Seed...
Progression is exactly like tending to a garden. First you plant that seed and all your dreams are pinned on what it will grow into. You have to be dedicated, feeding it, pruning it, refining it, even on the days when it’s a bit murky and you’d rather not. Then you start to see the flowers emerge and your skill will bloom. But progression doesn’t just stop here. You can take it to the next level and take these seeds of learning and plant more skills to grown and bloom.
Learn Something You Love…
And you will see progression more quickly… Why would you spend all your spare time doing something you hate? If you are learning something you don’t love, then your body will fight everything you learn. Even on a subconscious level. You have to love something to stick with it. If you love your new found skill, then you will want to do it all the time and this will drive your learning.
Set Yourself Realistic Goals
This is the key to making progress. Visualise where it is you want to be, what it is you want to do and make a plan to achieve that. Be realistic. You won’t achieve everything to expert level in the first year. For example, if you are new to burlesque and you want to be paid for shows, set yourself the goal of making an act in say 6 months, repeating, refining and rehearsing that act over the first few months with your debut at the end of that. Then, set yourself the goal of performing in newcomer shows for the next few months and after a year (or sooner, if you’ve worked hard!) paid slots on the bottom end of bills with a view to working up the billing over the next few years. If it’s a skill you’re learning that requires physicality, then work on preparing your body for that skill, and work on refining the moves you’ve been taught. You get the idea… Just be the best you can be, and unlock your own potential. It might be different to those around you, but progression is our own personal journey.
It’s really satisfying to see progression in the things we learn, and the harder we work at things, the more progression we make. You have to love what you do, and you have to want to progress to put in the work – but the results can be worth every bit of the blood, sweat and occasional tears…