I used to make New Year's resolutions. You know - eat more healthy, exercise on all days, pay bills before the due date, learn French, never be late, do not procrastinate.. Then I realised that if something really matters, I will make it happen regardless of promises made. And if it does not - who cares? Instead I do as I please, whether the year has changed or not!
With dance, who needs resolutions anyway? Ballet class may be hard work, but it is a labor of love. I love to push myself, I love to be challenged and I love to dance. And I love to have something to reach for, to have dreams and goals and good intentions. Call them dancelutions, if you like. Anyway, here is my list for 2012. Which is mostly the same as it was last year. What can I say? Dance is a work in progress!
I will try not to over-think. Or in the wise words of Samuel Beckett:
"Dance first, think later. It is the natural order."
It does not matter (so much) what other people in class (might) think of you and me. If you're kind to others, have respect for the art and try your best, you're on the right track no matter what. Even if that means stepping out of your comfort zone with the off chance of making an arse of yourself. Stop worrying what fellow dancers might think. If you never fail, you have never tried!
Present myself. Today our teacher told us to pose like queens, and I thought of Queen, and queens and Queen Elisabeth - when I should have been thinking of Elisabeth Platel. Seriously, with this one failure can hit too close home. Who cares if you miss a step or two, but if you look silly instead of majestic.. Well, let's just say major ego bruising ahead! I need to gather my courage for this, be less cautious in my poses and way more out there: Look at me!
Must stretch every day. You get older, you possibly get wiser. Everything else is pretty much down hill. That's why taking good care of the bod becomes paramount. Also, I need that full split on my bad side too. Just in case I have to grand jeté to the right come next spring recital.
Be the boss of me. I decide when to turn a neat double or whatever, it is not a game of chance!
Believe! Don't give up before you have tried. Then try again. Then do, not try.
Dance better than myself (Baryhsnikov said that, and you gotta believe The Man). Do not compare yourself to others, there is always someone who is more flexible, can jump higher or turn better. Look at others for inspiration and help, not to beat yourself down!
Breathe. Do not hold your breath while dancing. Relax. Remember to keep shoulders down. Pointe those feet to their maximum, at all times. Elongate lines. Popo down. Deeper pliés. Turn-out, more.
Make the most of what I can do, and never give up on improving the rest.
For the love of dance, dance with joy!
P.S. Thanks to my awesome ballet teachers Marie-Pierre and Gabriella for inspiring, motivating and sharing their knowledge and love of ballet!