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:

c jump

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/

On Giving

Oh I’m going in deep today! Today’s word study: GIVE
How can we apply the concept of GIVE to dancers with regard to performance?

First some questions to think about:
What exactly are you giving?
And who are you giving it to?

Next:
A quick read in a thesaurus reveals quite a few synonyms for GIVE that hint at holding back, hesitation, maybe even resentment:

Ante up
Cede
Fork over
Hand over
Part with
Pony up
Relinquish
Shell out

A dancer who is uncertain, not confident, SELF-ABSORBED, may be stingy in the giving of him/herself to an audience. What might you be holding close to your chest? What is it within that is distracting you from the opportunity at hand? The audience will know if you are not fully vested in the moment.

Some words for GIVE are rather cool and uncaring, revealing lack of emotional involvement. An audience can smell this lack a mile away:

Administer
Confer
Deed
Deliver
Lease
Let have
Parcel out
Throw in

Let’s get to the crux of the matter.

GIVE:
Bestow
Entrust
Gift
Heap upon
Lavish upon
Present
Provide

NOW we are getting somewhere! I love the idea that your performance does not belong to you, is not your own – because all art must be filtered through another. An observer’s personal point of view, experience, emotional state and objectives will interpret what she sees and make a determination of what it is and what it means. When you entrust another with your performance you have entered into a form of relationship with them.

So this is your GIFT to your audience: To freely allow them to take your performance and to transform it INTO THEIR OWN IDEA. You give it away and it is forever changed. It is not yours. It is not you. It is something altogether new.

If you understand that your performance is an act of loving, if you are willing to lavish upon another your joy of expression, then you will not hold back your true self, totally open and fully present. Now THAT is truly GIVING. Your performance will elevated, shining. And your audience will experience a moment they will never forget.

Will you allow this process to take place? Will you give?

lissfaindance_lindseyfitzmorris_lookinglooking

http://smartydolapchieva.wordpress.com/tag/dance/