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  5. Maria Irene Salvi: Reflecting on the pandemic

1 January 2021

This past year has been a real challenge for me, but also a time of growth and self-discovery. Transitioning from being a professional dancer and teacher in London to being back in my small hometown in Italy has not been easy, but I’ve always kept my passion for dance alive on my lowest days. No matter how hard this situation has been, I always try my best to stay positive and never lose hope.

But here we go again. January 2021.

 

I haven’t been dancing and creating as much as I was to a couple of months ago. I know a lot of us creatives are feeling a little hopeless this winter, while the days are shorter and the weather outside can mirror our mood.

I initially felt frustrated, inpatient and tired of waiting, but I've slowly worked out ways to motivate myself that I wanted to share with you, to see if I couple help you, too.

Some tips on staying motivated:


Remind yourself why you started this journey

I have reminded myself why I started this dance journey and refreshed my focus on my most important dreams and goals. I can still work on them, but in a different way, keeping my brain and body engaged. We have all worked very hard to get where we are today and that work is valuable.

Keep yourself inspired

Listening to music has been helping me focus, listening to different genres and researching new artists to stay inspired. I have started playing the piano again and I take weekly Zoom classes with my singing teacher. Even if I have a bad day, I don’t cancel class because I want to keep myself as disciplined as I can.

I realised that my skills in music and musical theatre could really be helpful in the future and my curiosity is building back the love I have always had for the theatre. I've also been watching shows and live performances I haven’t had the chance (or time) to watch before.
 

Keep up with your fitness

I constantly work on my fitness. I have a side job as a personal trainer, which means I train my clients online daily. Me and one of my good friends 'meet' online every day to do 15 minutes worth of abdominal work.

Lately, I have started to go on a walk or a long run first thing in the morning. Breathing good air and listening to music always puts me in a good mood to start my day.
 

Avoid too much time on social media

One thing that I am trying NOT to do is to spend too much time on social media. To all my fellow dancers and creatives: do not lose yourself in the anxiety of letting the world know what you are up to and avoid comparing yourself with others. Be present in your daily life for yourself, and not for anybody else.
 

Small reminders

When I feel overwhelmed, I take few deep breaths and I remind myself that I am a person before a dancer. Mental health comes first.

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