Don’t Make Your Ballet Teacher Depressed: Give 100%
May 20, 2011 § 5 Comments
I know, it sounds funny, but it is something I never have thought about. Thanks to my current teacher, Mirco Fila at Escuela de Danza María Carbonell in Valencia, Spain for quite vocally showing his frustration at the class today for looking like zombies just going through the motions. I appreciated this as it shows he cares about our progress and thinks we can DO IT.
Many teachers spend much of the day teaching, or if not, perhaps they have a day job from which the come to do something hopefully fun and engaging. Imagine spending all day watching students not giving 100%, looking dead when they execute steps (and not dance!)….that must be depressing!!!
But trying to keep your adult beginner ballet teacher off the anti-depressants not only benefits her/him, it benefits YOU.
Reaching as far as you can, traveling HUGE across the floor, having some life and expression in your face…these things make you a better dancer. For example, if you really push forward to the maximum over your standing leg in pique’ arabesque, you learn to REALLY balance on your leg, to get over it. The more force you put into propelling yourself onto the leg will give you a higher and more dynamic arabesque. You might feel that you will totally fall forward and lose control, but that is exactly what makes it more exciting to watch! And certainly you will fall forward and lose control, but this is how you learn to go 100% under control.
This does not mean go all out crazy with ‘neighborhood ballet.’ You still need to do this under some control, using your muscles (abs, ouch!) to keep the form and line as correct as possible.
Listen to the music, feel something even if you have to imagine some corny scene with the music. I dunno, like pigs dancing on a lake. Whatever you need to feel the music and to give 100% of your body and effort to expressing it.
It is not easy to do, especially as an adult beginner ballet dancer. I know this first hand. Namely because you might not be sure how to do a step correctly so you hesitate; or the combination is long and difficult. Or you are kind of embarrassed because you think you look terrible. I still have these issues and get all zombie-like. But if these are the circumstances then give 100% at the points in the combination when you are sure of the step. Or, nobody will swat you with a stick if you are a tiny bit behind the music and follow the steps of others; you’ll see the step and then give it your all, just a few counts behind. :) Sooner or later you will gain the confidence to go 100% because you have practiced and you will know you don’t look terrible.
Keep your teacher out of a straightjacket, go for it. Think BIG.