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!





Stand Tall!

Playing around with images…

Stand Tall

Word Study for Dancers: Confident


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


Cambré is more than a stretch. As you create space in the vertebrae, as you expand through your chest and shoulders, you are finding a path to emotional expression through the use of your torso.


It is realizing that your whole body is breathing and moving, not just your arms and legs. You dance with your whole self.


In letting go, in focusing on your heart, the cambré will lead you to greater depth of expression through your port de bras and your dancing will come alive!


Not Defeated

I’ve been away far too long, have missed my beloved blog sooooo much!

Something that brought me back was an observation that needs talking about: Feeling defeated. Specifically, when one dancer sees another dancer and feels defeated.


Question for you: Is one of the goals of an art form to inspire?

When you look at a beautiful work in a museum by a master painter do you appreciate what you see or do you despair of being able to paint like that?

When you hear the voice of an amazing singer do your emotions soar or do you cry over not being able to sing like that?

Then WHY, when you see an incredible dancer do you feel like giving up? Let their accomplishment inspire you! Let their beauty and artistry LIFT you up, let it remind you of why you dance. Become part of the community of dancers – We are all at different stages of our dance journey but we have dance in common and we should enjoy and appreciate each dancer’s contribution and not let it be a source of frustration or defeat. If you compare yourself to another dancer you lose your joy of dance. Why do that to yourself?


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.


Holy crap! {said in the most admiring way}


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’?


Like a Child

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