The Sweet Shoppe

Our upcoming winter recital’s theme is The Sweet Shoppe.  Our students will be performing with many different inspirations: candies, cakes, chocolate, etc.  You would see many sweet smiles and happy dances if you came to our recital, but my blog today is about a deeper concept of sweetness.  I’m referring to dance as a gift given to the audience and the sweetness in the giving.  If you think of your performance as an actual gift, then your movements are informed by motivations such as:

This gift is especially for you.

My goal is to bring you joy.

As you delight in me, I delight in you.

Such moments between a dancer and an audience are like Christmas morning or a birthday party, where giving and receiving is held with honor between people.  There is that vulnerable moment of sweet expectation when you give a gift and the receiver rejoices that they matter to you.

Dancers – Give the sweet gift of yourself! When your joyful light shines your audience unwraps the best present: Your heart.  Who wouldn’t delight in receiving that?

 

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A Work of Art

Studying the Vitruvian Man is very beneficial for a dancer.  Leonardo Da Vinci wrote of man standing limbs apart:

“…know that the centre of the extended limbs will be the navel…”  

What a great visual when considering how to use your limbs – Where do they start?  Not at your hip and shoulder joints but in your center.

And consider this among his list of human proportions:

“The length of the outspread arms is equal to the height of a man.”  

Are you using your arms in a way that is equal to your height?  Have you broken through  the concept of personal space to consider that you may not be taking up your actual personal space?

And what about interpersonal space? Observe the outstretched stance of the image. Notice how we are in our most perfect, symmetrical place when we are reaching out.  How might that affect how you interact with other dancers? What kind of connections can be made?

Consider where these concepts of line and symmetry might take you:

“Similarly, in the members of a temple there ought to be the greatest harmony in the symmetrical relations of the different parts to the general magnitude of the whole.”

This riff on Aristotle’s and Euclid’s ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ begins your journey into the concept of synergy – amongst your bodily members, your fellow dancers, the world around you.  The total sum of your expression as a dancer is more, way more, than the sum of the individual parts of yourself that you bring.  But you have to bring it all – body, emotions, mind.  All in.  Stand in the stance of the outstretched Vitruvian Man.  Stand there for at least a minute and feel yourself expand into the space around you.  Do this before a performance and see where it takes you.  You are an actual work of art!

leonardo

 

 

Stand Tall!

Playing around with images…

Stand Tall

Word Study for Dancers: Confident

Convinced
Courageous
Fearless
Hopefull
Positive
Self-Assured
Secure
Undaunted
Expectant

Borrowed the standtall image from the standtallevent, looks like a great organization!

A New Look at the New Year

Some dance goals for 2016:

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TURN IT ALL UPSIDE DOWN

Mental exercise – Visualize your combinations:
backwards
in reverse
on the other side
at a different tempo

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MAKE A DANCE FRIEND WHO IS NOT THE SAME AGE AS YOU

Share your excitement
Compare notes
Encourage each other

Life and Style, Silver Ballerinas, photography Natasha Pszenicki

Life and Style, Silver Ballerinas, photography Natasha Pszenicki

DRESS UP FOR CLASS

Catch yourself in the mirror looking different than the usual you.

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STOP IDENTIFYING YOURSELF BY YOUR LIMITATIONS

I suck at turns.
Give me quick, I don’t do slow.
I hate the left.

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OR BY YOUR PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE

I’m an adage dancer.
I’m a turner.
I love petit allegro.
I could leap all day.

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EMBRACE IT ALL WITH LOVE

Love what you’re doing.
Love that you’re trying.
Love what you’re attempting.
Love the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Love others while you dance.
Love yourself.

Happy New Year!

I Can’t Do That

Or… How to Be Inspired By Something You Can’t Do.

I can’t do this:

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Never could. My back doesn’t bend this way. I never could jump that high. And besides, it’s freakin’ scary.

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Holy crap! {said in the most admiring way}

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The C jump is just so… gutsy… fearless…

So now, when you see something that is just so beyond your capability do you feel defeated? Like, waa-waa, I can’t do it , never will….. WOE.

I’m not gonna try and make you feel all better with some pat response. Not gonna say don’t worry someday you’ll get it, keep trying, don’t give up. Because maybe you will, but maybe you won’t. Because there ARE some things that you may never be able to do.

Did I just kill your dream? Please DREAM BIG. But I sort of like knowing that there is one thing that I know I’ll never do. Lol, of course there are LOTS of things I’ll never do, but the C jump for me is representative of all those things.

So I’m going to use the C jump as my inspirational touchstone and all around humbler. Oh yes, I am humbled and awed by anyone who can do such a jump. But I’m going to love dance all the more because I know there are people out there who can do such things. Just because I’m not one of them is ok, all I have to do is look at one of these amazing photos and I feel a surge of energy run through me and suddenly everything I try is better. A tendu. A glissade. A grand jeté. I even stand taller.

What is your ‘C jump’?

http://www.hollysdance.com/dance-class-levels-placement/
http://www.veronicadaydance.com/#!news
http://flickrhivemind.net/Tags/cjump/Interesting

Like a Child

I can do that!
That’s easy!
Look at me!
I did it!
Can we do it again?

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/sweetsktl/