This weekend was the annual Bailando Dance Festival at our local University.
My old dance teacher works at the university and helps put it on, so it was kind of like a mini Instep reunion.
Which was so wonderful.
I wasn’t able to dance, so I took pictures of the classes and helped Leslie with whatever was needed.
This kind of sucked–having to watch everyone else take all these amazing classes from the sidelines–but then it was also awesome. I was able to sit in on a bit of every single class. If you were in one downstairs, you couldn’t be in the one upstairs as well. You don’t have a clone. But I was able to go in and out of all of them.
Inadvertently so, I was able to sit in on classes I normally wouldn’t have the courage to take; namely modern and contemporary classes.
I love when I have the opportunity to learn from a variety of different teachers. One may see something another may overlook and vise versa. This weekend definitely opened up my mind to dancing as an art.
Here are a few points I learned from a few of the choreographers.
- Never dance with judgement. Only dance for the artistry. (From Alexis Anderson’s class)
- Don’t. Judge. Yourself. (Also from Alexis.)
- Think of yourself as Mr. Potato Head. Your arms are like sticks and the body is the potato and doesn’t move. (Oddly effective from Dana Nicolay’s class. #teampotato)
- Strive for progress not perfection. (From Gabriel Speiler of Dance Au Deum.)
There were a million other things I didn’t get to write down, as well. Like in the one class from the director of Urban Souls; I was completely inspired by how open the dancers were required to be. There was no “I can’t,” There was no doubt. There was confidence. And seeing those nervous dancers find their confidence and seeing the improvement made me see that I could do that, too.
I was able to watch and envision myself doing the different moves, to try and pick them apart and think of how I would execute the moves. I was able to find in myself a bit of belief that maybe I could do these things if I tried.
I loved getting to watch the dancer’s feet; to see what is correct and what probably feels correct but isn’t. I loved watching the port de bras and understanding the placement of the body in all these things.
I also loved getting to take pictures during these classes, helping me remember what looks right and how to do it. It also helps remind me of what I learned and gleaned from this weekend.
I apparently really like the word “glean.”
(A couple of my favorite moments were when I realized Mel Glouchkova was using the Harry Potter theme song for barre work, and when Randall Flynn was using a Misty Edwards song for contemporary. Did my heart good.)
I found myself on a dance high. I am sad to still have to miss two more of my Thursday classes, but it’s a good way to keep me off my ankle to make sure it’s 100% when I go back, and it’s for good reason.
I just miss dance.
(I still have to sew my shoes. so there’s that.)
Also, we had our Nutcracker costume fitting, and it made it feel real.
I was glad to get to be with the other girls all together, I think it’ll be fun.