Friday, February 24, 2012

Building a dancer's toolbox

When you want to repair a leaky faucet, you investigate the many places in the pipe that could be the problem.  You need a flashlight to search for the leak, and then a wrench to shut off the water and - if you're like me - a roll of duct tape to wrap around the pipe until you can get an expert in. A leaky faucet is frustrating but it's not the end of the world.  It's something to be repaired.

Now, when you want to fix a faulty pirouette, what do you do?  Do you think, "I'll just spin faster and hope for the best"? Do you give up and pout? Or do you look in your toolbox to begin the repairs?

A dancer's toolbox includes all those marvelous things your teachers have told you throughout your years of training: pull up your abdominals, lower your chin, stretch your arms, spring from your whole foot, etc.  At the time that you hear these corrections - either for yourself or someone else in class - you may not see how they apply to you.  But eventually, you may have to use them.

You build a toolbox so it isn't merely a stroke of luck that you perform something properly.  The goal of consistent class attendance is to be able to recreate steps properly - and build on them.  While we all have "good" and "bad" turn days or "good" or "bad" jump days, you should know what it feels like to do something right and then do it again. And if you can't do it again, you have to figure out why.

Say your turns are wobbly and you're having trouble getting up en pointe.  That's when you dig in and investigate. Remember: it's a problem to be solved, not an issue to be stressed over and upset about.

First grab your flashlight: what exactly is my problem?  Falling forward?  Not enough suspension? Landing too fast?

Next, search your toolbox: am I pulled up enough?  Am I spotting the floor?  Am I not using my plie?

And if all of that still doesn't solve the issue, call in an expert - your teacher. You might need to add a new tool to your box!

Happy dancing~

1 comment:

MsSmeraldina said...

Ciao, che blog carino! ^_^ Se ti va passa dal mio blog. Mi farebbe piacere averti fra le mie iscritte