Saturday, November 27, 2010

I've been dancing since I was three years old. For the last few years I've been trying to get back to it being a regular thing for me, at least one or two classes a week. Gone are the days when I didn't have to work and could dance every day. One of my happiest times was when it seemed I did nothing but dance everyday, all day.
This time around I've finally realized that I'm really over ballet. These days when I find myself in a ballet class I immediately feel myself tense up. It just doesn't represent relaxation anymore. All I can think is to stand up straight! Tighten all my muscles and get ready to work really hard. The hard work is the good part but the rest...? I want to feel happy moving. But I don't, I get really serious and rigid. So I stopped taking ballet classes and started taking contemporary classes. They're something more along the lines of jazz-African-world-folk-hip-hop. And I love them.
Everything about dancing this way is new to me. In comparison to ballet it's totally unstructured and free and fun and sometimes even kind of silly and it's awesome. But without that vocabulary of movements that I've stored for years (which is probably another reason ballet bores me to tears) I sometimes feel like it's more difficult for me to link it all together, to remember the right thing to do with my arms, to miss the right beat where there's a missed beat. I suddenly feel like a mediocre dancer and I'm not used to it. I certainly haven't been at my best for a while now but changing to a completely new style has dropped me back considerably. Every week I mildly dread it and every week I have the best time. I know I'm not the best dancer in class and I know that I often miss one tiny step lose track of the entire combination but I'm not going to stop and one of these days I know that I'm going to do a perfect combination and it's going to feel easy and natural, the way it used to. And then I'll try something new.

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