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Ballet Talk for Dancers

frozen moments and out of sorts


spinbug

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I just came back from class and I'm feeling pretty down about how well I danced. I kept having "frozen" moments when I couldn't remember anything, even the simplist combinations. Even started doing sissones instead of grand jetes right in the middle of an en chainement of mostly just grand jetes!

 

I'm feeling all out of sorts and just not right. I took the summer off from ballet and I can tell that there is a big difference in my abilities as compared to last spring. I feel like one of the dancing elephants from Fantasia!

Plus, I just don't like the way I look. :D

 

Knowing how I tend to be, my biggest temptation is being too hard on myself and just giving up. I need to keep going, keep trying and not get too focused on how perfect my dancing or I am.

 

But, this is such a hard time. Christmas break will be here soon and then all of that junk food...! I'm just feeling down.

 

Thanks for listening everyone.

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Hun, everybody has days that we can't focus, and keep messing up even simple things!

It can be for a reason (busy day at work, ate too little, ate too much/too shortly before class, slept too little, slept too much, etc) or sometimes for no reason at all!

I'm sure this is something everybody here agrees on.

 

One thing not everybody may agree on, but just a way I like to see things: did you consider that maybe your inner dancer just felt like doing other stuff (like the sissones! :wink: ) than the steps in class today? That with your conscious mind in a lower state of alertness, the instinctive dancer in you decided to come and play?

When's the last time you went skipping in the rain just because you felt like it? :P

 

I think it's one of the major advantages we have over the pros, as they of course - off-day or not! - have to perform to certain standards EVERY day! We can allow ourselves to a complete-and-total OFF-day once in a while, and since it happens anyway, we might as well enjoy it!

 

Actually, that is my opinion on the Christmas junkfood as well: don't eat TOO much of it, but definitely make sure you thoroughly and guiltlessly (!) enjoy the stuff you DO eat! :D

 

 

And by the way... Doesn't everybody LOVE the dancing elephants from Fantasia?

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Hun, everybody has days that we can't focus, and keep messing up even simple things!

It can be for a reason (busy day at work, ate too little, ate too much/too shortly before class, slept too little, slept too much, etc) or sometimes for no reason at all!

I'm sure this is something everybody here agrees on.

 

One thing not everybody may agree on, but just a way I like to see things: did you consider that maybe your inner dancer just felt like doing other stuff (like the sissones! :wink: ) than the steps in class today? That with your conscious mind in a lower state of alertness, the instinctive dancer in you decided to come and play?

When's the last time you went skipping in the rain just because you felt like it? :P

 

I think it's one of the major advantages we have over the pros, as they of course - off-day or not! - have to perform to certain standards EVERY day! We can allow ourselves to a complete-and-total OFF-day once in a while, and since it happens anyway, we might as well enjoy it!

 

Actually, that is my opinion on the Christmas junkfood as well: don't eat TOO much of it, but definitely make sure you thoroughly and guiltlessly (!) enjoy the stuff you DO eat! :D

 

 

And by the way... Doesn't everybody LOVE the dancing elephants from Fantasia?

 

 

Mimi,

I loved every word you said! I was going to quote something specific but I just had to include the whole post. I'm such a perfectionist sometimes that it really gets in the way of my enjoyment. I thought I had that demon cast out of my life but alas, he comes for a visit now and again.

 

Although I strongly believe in the pursuit of excellence, sometimes the excellent is not always what's perfect.

 

And yes, I've always thought those elephants quite elegant, and, having the time of their lives, by the looks of them!

 

I am now going into my living room, turn on some music and let my inner dancer loose where nowone else can see!

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Awww, thanks for saying that, I am really happy you liked my post! :D

 

Hope you have a great time dancing madly in the living room, and won't knock as many things over as I always do, LOL! :P

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One thing not everybody may agree on, but just a way I like to see things: did you consider that maybe your inner dancer just felt like doing other stuff (like the sissones! ) than the steps in class today? That with your conscious mind in a lower state of alertness, the instinctive dancer in you decided to come and play?

 

Mimi, so simple and a wonderful way to look at it!

 

Spinbug, your post came along right as I was emailing another dancer about my "frozen" moment frustration.

 

I proudly posted in the Champagne forum about taking the "advanced" class in town and doing pretty well. I decided to try the class again on Wednesday. I got there early, found a good place at barre. Over the next 10 minutes, pretty much every professional dancer in town wandered in. I found myself sandwiched between two of them at barre. I let myself get so intimidated by them I felt like I completely wasted the class. I kept forgetting combinations because I was paying more attention to them than I was myself.

 

I kicked myself afterward that I got so screwed up about it. The whole class I kept repeating things in my head like, "No ones watching me, they're all here taking class for themselves," etc. It didn't work. I definitely learned something about my comfort zone in that class.

 

But I'll likely try the class again next week. I got up on that horse once and rode it pretty well, I may as well push myself and try again. This time I'll try not to let my imigination get in my way.

 

Forgive yourself for a bad class. It happens.

 

On the upside, being in class with all the "pros" in town was a real treat. Watching them do petit allegro was pretty impressive.

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Spinbug,

 

Sometimes those bad days can serve as great motivators to work harder, concentrate more etc... but only if we forgive ourselves and make a conscious effort not to repeat the same mistakes in the next class. I had my first class in 9 weeks recently, and it was just barrework. I messed up our first combination, which was a simple battement tendu en croix sequence. I didn't do the head or arms, and I closed in the front when moving to the back and in the back when moving to the front. But I kept going. And so did you! So you did the wrong type of jump. But you persevered! It's hard to swallow your pride in moments like that and not just stop, be proud of yourself.

 

Don't let physical aspects of your dancing self get you down. You'll start to concentrate on them instead of on the quality of your movement, and that's never helped anyone's dancing. Give yourself a chance to get back into the swing of things, and give yourself permission to take as long as you need in order to get back to your old self. Ballet isn't easy, and it isn't for those with no perseverance... so you've obviously got grit and determination.

 

As for the junk food, this is what I do at Christmas: I always save some of my goodies and freeze them/stash them away. If there's something I really want but don't think I should eat at the moment/in one sitting, I simply ask if I can take it home with me ("Auntie, I would love some of that cake, but I'm so full! Could I have a piece to take home with me please?") That way I don't feel compelled to devour everything that is set before me. An added bonus? When everyone else has long finished their Christmas treats, I still have mine to look forward to. I cut things like pastries into snack-sized portions and stick them in my lunch throughout January. Another bonus? Most often, my lovely family members will come across my treats in the freezer and kindly help me with them. :shrug:

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...

Although I strongly believe in the pursuit of excellence, sometimes the excellent is not always what's perfect.

Very profound, that is - excellence is NOT the pursuit of excellence. We used to say at work - well, a few of us! - that the best is the enemy of the better. If only the best will do, then better is not good enough - and if you can't respect the better, you'll never get any closer to the best.

 

Easy for me to say of course - I know I'll never be even a good dancer, so "better than last year" is as good as it will ever get. :D But I am still learning this hard lesson in other areas of my life - we are all victims of that demon of perfectionism in some areas!

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Oh yes, Im pretty certain majority of us here at BT are perfectionists :wub:

 

The thing is due to this fact we probably wouldnt take ballet class if we didnt enjoy a challenge. At least when we have a bad class or week, it makes it all the more satisfying when we overcome those mountains or hills, whatever achievment large or small feels great - doesnt it?

Keep up the good work Spinbug :thumbsup:

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Spinbug, there's a quote I love about perfectionism:

 

"Perfectionism is the highest order of self-abuse."

 

This was quoted by Ashley Judd (actress) who said that a pastor quoted it to her.

 

I'm a bit of a perfectionist too. Ballet kind of feeds the perfectionistic tendencies, since nothing is ever perfect. Since I've been in college/school for all of my life until now, I've tried to make dance my 'fun thing' and not put pressure on myself, and just enjoy it, since I had enough pressure in college. Some days I can just enjoy, some days not, but overall I feel like I enjoy it. Now I'm out of college so dance can be my fun hobby away from work!

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