Saturday, January 2, 2010

A new year of dance!

Long gone are the days when my dance resolutions for a new year might have included, "do consistent triples en pointe" or "do clean beats during allegro." LOL! Now I am more likely to resolve to forgive myself for falling out of my pirouettes on my left side or to avoid comparing myself to other dancers who are many years younger than me. In fact, those are two pretty good resolutions!

Forgiveness for one's own faults- whether they're dance-related or not - is an admirable goal for this new year, a year which has followed a decade of steady decline in our nation's cultural and moral standards. We have such a short time on this planet. Why waste the precious hours we have obsessing over the things we can't do - or can't do any longer?

No, I can't do those triples en pointe but I can do other things. My adagio is more expressive, my barre is more centered than it ever has been. I work more efficiently as an older dancer; my experience gives me insight I can share with my students, both young and old. I don't dance harder; I dance smarter.

Similarly, why compare yourself to others in the first place, regardless of their age? Every person has her own path and yours is not like hers. When I watch beautiful turners (can you tell turning has been the bane of my dance existence?), I look at their arms, their heads, their hips, their demi-plies for any hints that might help me. But unless that person is built exactly like me, she will probably turn in a very different way. No reason why I shouldn't try to get a clue from someone else but I should not expect to have the same result.

As an older dancer, I strive to maintain my skills - as I have developed them over the years - and to be a model for others who might believe they are too old to continue - or to start - dancing. No such thing. Never compare.

A scheduling note: all of my classes are back to normal beginning Monday, January 4th.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your words of wisdom.
Yes, i would like to turn triple en pointe, or even just double, but it is not yet in my cards, maybe next life. well, maybe in this life on some accidental incidences-- like how i turn triple on slipper on some rare moments.

i shall just perfect my single's then. i supposed i freak out when i turn and fall out of it. i think i am just cooked, but oh well...that's okay, you are right, i should be happy, esp. when i start so late, and now that i am at intermediate level is a big accomplishment in itself.

thank you for your valuable time, experience and encouragements.

thank you for teaching me how to dance-- clean and pretty.



Leigh said...

Thank YOU so much for your comments. I love to hear that a student feels she has improved in my classes - and that I contributed! lol! The older I get, the more I appreciate each and every thing my body can do.