II. Tear Yourself Apart

I discovered this short documentary series on youtube called “city. ballet” by AOL (since when did they do these things, or why, I don’t know) that gives an honest and raw insight of the dancers and dance masters/choreographers of the New York City Ballet. I think it popped up on one of my suggested videos but I was curious since I’ve always loved watching dance documentaries (e.g. First Position). I love seeing the solemnity, the humble work ethic, and all the challenges a dancer faces and I use it as inspiration in my own dancing and training. Maybe deep down inside it’s helping me justify my own struggle and proves to me that thing’s won’t ever get easier, and that’s okay. You only get stronger and wiser about coping with failure and your own weaknesses.  I try to develop their attitude of constantly pushing and growing outside of yourself.  A dancer in the series said that it’s the impossibility of reaching perfection that makes dancing more thrilling. It’s the idea that it may feel like you’re at the peak of your journey, but in truth there’s still something better out there, and you have the potential to become it.  It’s the urgency to explore and play with your freedom in its utmost glory to discover a secret or two and develop your artistry. Complacency is your worst enemy, and there’s no time for that. Even when you’re standing you’re still moving. You’re projecting out your energy, you’re growing taller and your arms and legs are getting longer, your feet are digging into the ground and you’re lifting up and out of yourself until you split in half.  Like one of our usual guest instructors would say, “Tear yourself apart.” Every single body part is awake and working at its hardest.  I have a tendency to forget about my arms since I focus too much on my lower body. The same teacher mentioned that you’re like a car with four wheels, and what happens when one of those wheels isn’t working? He also said that he was really hungry and if he sees our arms all weak and shrunken in like chicken wings he’s going to bite us (I laughed really hard at that).

Anyway, talk to any dancer and they’d all agree that dancing is 80% mental and only 20% physical. I picked up the book “Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul” to help me be more aware of the mind-body connection and within the first few pages there were so many things I wanted to highlight I went ahead and bought it the same day (bad habit). Dance is my favorite subject, so I’m going to write a lot about it- be forewarned.

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