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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’?


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?

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

Ante up
Fork over
Hand over
Part with
Pony up
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:

Let have
Parcel out
Throw in

Let’s get to the crux of the matter.

Heap upon
Lavish upon

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?



Talkin’ to Yourself

What do you say to yourself when you are in class?

We all know what the Negatives are and that we should ban these:
I can’t.
It’s too hard.
I never do it right.
I always do it wrong.
Blah, blah, blah, etc.

And we all know the Positives, they are our go-to’s:
You can do it!
Don’t give up!
You’ve got this!
Get it! Kill it!
Rah, rah, rah, etc.

But I was thinking that we could go beyond these simple encouragements, and adopt an internal dialogue that would accomplish more than a temporary prop-up.

I am capable of change.

I am able to move forward and am traveling towards my goals even when it appears that I am not.

This is not the end of the chapter, the book, the story.

(my fave)


Photo Credit: This dancer is Samantha Marcella

Lighten Up!



Time to take break from the oh-so-serious mood that can sometimes overtake a dancer! I thought about all the funny pics I could show you: easy, go-to images to make you smile:

Animals in Tutus
Babies in Tutus
Men in Tutus
All manner of goofy ballet and dance memes

But maybe, instead of the easy laugh, the take-away here is really the remembering of JOY. You remember why you dance in the first place, right? Isn’t it sort of to feel like this:


Oh I know what you’re thinking. Sure, THAT dancer can be happy and joyful, just look at her! That’s Marianela Nunez! When she leaps the angels sing, a thrill courses through all who see her, the sun and the moon and stars align and all is right with the world. I will NEVER leap that high, my leg is NEVER straight, and getting a split, much less an over-split, is NEVER going to happen.

Oh dear – Did you really just think up a sentence with three ‘nevers’ in it?


Girl jumps through water sprinkler.

Now that is arms-reaching-high, face-to-the-sun, pure JOY! I believe that if you remember this little girl, the one inside of you, that when you leap you will SOAR. And that will definitely make you smile!

Or…….. We could just go with this:


Wishing you life filled with JOYFUL dancing!