Context Is Everything


So sometimes in the world of dance (and aerials), we say or do things that might, upon reflection, sound (or feel) a little creepy.

Like saying to the New Girl ,”OMG, you have such amazing feet!”

Or sticking dowels down the back of everyone’s shirt. (You guys! This is the best for helping people feel vertical alignment! Just make sure your dowels are, like, sanded smooth and treated with a little linseed oil first.)

Or poking people in the butt to tell them which muscles to engage (I haven’t tried this one yet; I’m only a wee apprentice, after all!).

Or talking about Steve’s recurring problem with dead birds, or how great Mary is at lame ducks.

Or waxing on and on about everyone’s feet. And legs. And necks. And then trading horror stories about foot injuries.

At the end of the day, though, these are the things that bring us together and set us apart.

We just need to remember, sometimes, to make it clear that we’re not actually creeping on the New Girl, for example, and to leave a good tip for the poor soul that has to put up with two hours of sweaty dancers trading pointe-shoe blood-blister stories at brunch while eating everything that holds still long enough.

And, of course, to save the poking for the studio. We don’t want to completely scandalise the normals 😉

About asher

Me in a nutshell: Standard uptight ballet boy. Trapeze junkie. Half-baked choreographer. Budding researcher. Transit cyclist. Terrible homemaker. Neuro-atypical. Fabulous. Married to a very patient man. Bachelor of Science in Psychology (2015). Proto-foodie, but lazy about it. Cat owner ... or, should I say, cat own-ee? ... dog lover. Equestrian.

Posted on 2016/03/27, in balllet, teaching and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. I gave myself away this weekend:-) “Your feet are in a perfect third. Are you doing that on purpose?” Actually no, Ms Ex-Pro (as it turned out), I’d just walked over to help you with whatever and this is happening a lot lately… We spent the rest of the weekend boring the piss out of the rest of the party.

    So I ended up having to do the weird little off-the-floor jump with a changement over the top we’ve been doing (that means my ribs on that side are permanently sore) round the back of the house to explain myself more fully. This is officially the second time I’ve got it right, although for some reason I still can’t do it a second time in succession.

  2. this weekend’s entertainment:

    I’ve booked for L1 Cunningham and the German tanztheater workshop.

    • Nice! I look forward to a full report,of course ;D (Wanna become my Across The Pond Correspondent?) I am looking at a workshop in Cincinnati

      • any details?

        Ms Ex-Pro recommended The Place highly – she takes ballet there regularly. I wouldn’t be hugely surprised to run into her.

        I’d already been thinking about their weekend because we’re going through a prolonged stand-down. The Boss cancelled last week for her birthday. This week is easter intensive week for the super-ambitious schoolgirls (both the bunhead kind and the artsy ones over our side of the wall) and the troublesome teen boys in hip-hop class, so all regular classes are canned.

        Next week is when the Boss flies to the beach to get over them and recharge her reserves of forbearance.

        I was looking at Stuart Thomas’ classes at Danceworks, but I got back here yesterday after a 5am start for a 7am flight, cleared my deadlines by 5.15pm, and realised that if I got to the right underground station by 5.40 I’d be lucky to make class at all and if I did I’d be jumping into an unfamiliar Graham-style class with people I’ve never seen in my life, very tired, without even minimal pre-class time. maybe this is weak, but it had that “huh, this sounds like the crash investigation into an accident that’s not happened yet!” feeling.

    • Also, I would totally do this just to do the “Befriending the Floor” class!

  3. Here’s the workshop I’m looking at:

    I’m really torn about doing the day track (with a contemporary ballet class, which I suspect might be very much my thang) and the evening class (which has a bunch of partnering classes).

    For what it’s worth, I’d go with your gut on the Danceworks thing … I have ignored that feeling too often (and you summarize it beautifully, by the way!), and I’ve paid for it just about every time.

    I don’t think it’s weak at all; one of the hardest lessons as a dancer is learning when opting out of a class is the best way to keep progressing (and, ideally, injury-free!).

    • that does look interesting, but perhaps you could do them a “Responsive Web Design that Doesn’t Suck” class? Or just “Web Design that Doesn’t Suck, Hell, Just Use WordPress”, because it runs off the right edge of the window on a PC and on a smartphone?

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