Are You in a Rut?

May 6, 2008

Sometimes class can feel like you’re spinning your wheels, like you’re working and working and just not going anywhere. When I get trapped in this endless cycle, I try to focus on things other than my technique, body image, or leotard style. I forget about how low my arabesque looks and I ask myself…so how did I get into that arabesque?

It’s not just a question of choreography or the teacher’s combination. It’s not about whether I did a pique or a releve, a battement or a develope. But how was my transition from the last step into that arabesque? Did I make it as beautiful and as interesting as possible? Could I phrase it any differently? Was it seamless, or should I accent a certain part of it? Thinking about the way you execute the in-between-steps is just as beneficial as thinking about the steps themselves. Dancing, after all, is more than just a series of disjointed images – the steps are linked together to create expressive movement. Think of it as literally “stepping” from one shape to another. How you choose to make these transitions reflects your individuality and could make you stand out in class, in rehearsal, or onstage. And if anything, it’ll keep your efforts moving in the right direction…even when you think you’re in a rut.