Tag Archives: dance inspiration

On Dancing, Giving Up, and Pinterest

After a week of sitting on the couch reading all the books my Barnes and Noble gift cards bought me, I started cruising through Pinterest for inspirational dance pics that would hopefully guilt me into doing something vaguely active.  Amid the sepia-colored images of dancers in the air, I came across this picture:

Stretch - meme“Don’t disappoint her?”

Ummm…pressure much?

I don’t really agree with pushing through the hard points of anything just to appease whoever’s watching you (I also find it vaguely terrifying to think of a flock of baby ballerinas watching your every step at every moment, waiting for you to fail and ruin their lives).

However, I do have to admit that this guilt-inducing meme has a point, and it’s not about living in fear from tiny diva dancers.

What these words should focus on is not disappointing other people, but sticking with it for yourself. All dance is incredibly hard when you get down to it. Whether it’s hip hop or ballet, it takes years to perfect, and constant arduous training to remain in top form, but when you finally nail a move, it’s worth all those hours of conditioning and pain.

I’ve met so many people who started dance when they were young, only to quit when they were in their teens. I, myself, wanted to be one of them, but I was fortunate to have a mother who refuses to ever a) give up b) watch reality TV.

Dancers Kick Butt
Seriously.

If you were one of those dancers who got as bored as I did in class as a kid, it’s not too late to get back into the game. I can’t tell you how many dancers I’ve met who started dancing in college, or even later, who can wipe the floor with me. If you want to dance, just do it. Get your shoes out (or buy new ones if you’ve outgrown them), get yourself into a class, and don’t care about who else is watching.

What this picture should should say is “Don’t give up before the miracle happens.”

That or, “Dancers kick butt.”

 

 

Dance to Start a Movement

How do we talk about that which is taboo?

It’s not that we don’t know that there are problems in our world, in our government, even in our home spheres.  How is that we find it easy to share images of soldiers coming home to families, but not PSTD; of cute videos of puppies, but not animal cruelty; of our endless lists of first world problems, but not the lack of basic resources in third world counties?

Stretch - Reaching
Lyndell’s “Sitting Sadly By Your Side” tackles the tough subject of those who suffer from Depression, as well as its impact on those close to them.

To be fair, there’s not a really a good way to bring up these heavy issues in everyday conversation.  You can’t just drop a “Hey, did you hear about the Somalian civil war this morning?”  at the water cooler and expect to get much of an honest dialogue going.

In an increasingly politically correct world where even newspapers don’t take sides in issues as huge as the Federal Shutdown, how can we find the words to start these conversations?

Maybe, we don’t need words, but a movement.

William Forsythe
William Forsythe is a famous choreographer known for taking on controversial issues.

I will never be one to dispute the power of the pen, but it can be hard to know how to begin to approach such dangerous topics as war, racism, mental illness.  Every conversation needs a springboard; why not dance?

Dance is such an incredibly versatile form; records of its existence date as far back as the records themselves. Almost everyone can dance, whether they’re a full-fledged ballerina, a prancing football player or just your average Joe who bounces to the beat in private.

But for all its adaptability, for all its powerful use of expression, dance is a launching point for a conversation.  These ideas, be they about war or peace, will be left on the stage without those who are willing to discuss the issues brought up in their pieces.

Dance teaches people about team work and respect, to think creatively and express themselves. It can break down gender inequality and teach people to support each other.” says Restless Theater Dance Company CEO Kumori Middleton.

I can’t think of a better place to start a conversation then from there.