When we dance we need to turn on our expressive forces, step up our energy. Think of Spiderman spitting webs out of his fingers, we exude emotions into the universe through dance .
Important as this is, teaching and finding your own power is not easy.
Before you can expand your power toward your audience, you need to learn to TURN OFF distractions.
Anneliese used to say, “When you walk through the studio door, you leave EVERYTHING behind. You leave your school work, your arguements, your problems, your worries, and you present a blank slate to the dance barre.”
The total focus to your art is the first step to being able to go onto the stage and dance the role of different characters successfully and powerfully.
If we use this same thought process in our everyday life, we realize that worries and problems can affect how we move on the stage of action. We can move with strength and power, turning off the worry loops. Then we are free to TURN ON, and “focus on the present moment” to be the strong dancer, parent, or scholar we intend.
We begin the month with a careful explaination of the term, “releve” in first, second, and fifth positions.
We then work on the following steps:
For the review this month we study the timing and combination from the “Four little swans”:
entre chat quatre, releve passe, entre chat quatre, releve passe,
4 echappe releve.
We emphasize timing as well as the correct releve.
Years ago I first heard of students entering class to study ballet, for “poise and grace”, which sounded a bit like ,”Poison Grace” to my childlike understanding when spoken quickly. It was a few years later with some explaining that I finally understood how the work my Mother did day to day developed confident movement on the stage, co-ordination and balance, and flowing leaps and turns to various rhythms.
I recall meeting a young adult, friendly and always eager to learn, that embodied the word “grace”. Her movements were always simple, graceful, flowing and rhythmic with the music. If I taught, she would question a combination that might seem not to fit the music. I always needed to clarify the counts, so it could be fully danced.
Every January we asked students to bring their own costume and music and choreograph their own dance. The student from the studio on Gilbert Avenue wore an antique dress and danced a beautiful solo, like a bird showing off her feathers.
She moved to the Hyde Park Studio with my Mother. She spent years studying ballet , moving with the studio locations wherever she could still attend the classes. Fifty years or more she followed our ballet classes.
Now I have news from a ballet friend that our dear friend of long ago has died. A loyal friend of our school, a generous friend of our family, and a loving heart to all who were fortunate to know her : we mourn her passing.
And her name was Faith.