On Ballet! – A Minor Mental Breakthrough
After a winter characterized by minor mental breakdowns, a minor mental breakthrough is a welcome thing. So here’s mine for today:
When you’re marking movements, don’t forget about your arms*.
On Saturday, in class, I failed to mark the jetes effectively. In particular, I forgot that I had an upper body, never mind that my upper body had been doing brilliantly a moment before. Thus, whenever we did a pass, my upper body was like, “WTF?!” And then my legs were all, “ZOMG, upper body, get with the program!” And then everything fell apart more or less literally.
When you mark movements, you’re wiring your brain to do them (why didn’t I think of this in class? I should know this stuff!). Thus, you need to make sure to incorporate all the limbs and so forth.
Even though you’re not going all out, you are enchaining the circuits that should be firing together and, if you use visualization, harnessing them to a kind of mental 3D movie of
David Hallberg executing whatever movement you’re marking**.
Research has demonstrated that good visualization activates the nerves in both the brain and the muscles, so when you mark and visualize, you’re practicing. What you mark and what you picture will influence what you do at the barre and on the dance floor.
For what it’s worth, I’m realizing that it might take a little while to remember how to be a dancer when you’ve taken a sizeable break and concentrated deeply on a very different athletic discipline. It’s cool, though, because I now have an opportunity to develop an intellectual understanding of something I only grasped by instinct earlier in my life.
In other news, I lost about a pound over the last few days. Hecks to the yeah!
That’s all for now. Leather side down!
*So, yeah, this should be obvious, right? I blame cycling, “The armless sport.”
**Okay, and also David Hallberg, because if you’re going to visualize technique, you might as well visualize exceptionally solid technique…