By Daniel Johnson
Dancing below potential
My mentor didn’t teach me how to dance, he taught me how to learn. And therefore how to learn to dance.
To be a dancer you must train every day. And the way you train varies on your objectives. Do I want to be familiar with a new way of moving? Am I exploring different ways of moving? Am I adding previous isolated concepts together?
Creating movement habits
At the end of the day your conscious mind can only focus on one thing at a time. There is no such thing as multi tasking, only moving between tasks rapidly. But in dance there are so many things happening in one moment…
My core must be contracted
I have to look out and address my audience
I must project my energy
I must feel the music
I have a character in mind
I choose which sounds to accent
And probably no less than V10 other things in the same moment
Any attempt at conscious control will only limit me. Instead of doing all of these things I will do one at a time with dogged determination and frustration…
The paradox of practicing and letting go
As a dancer, as a learner I must train with focus and intention. Allow the habits to be formed and in the moment of freestyle, let go of all conscious thought.
I relax and allow my body to do what it’s been trained for.
This is the constant internal battle in every dance… How much will I allow myself to let go. How much will I trust my training, trust myself?
And inorder for my audience to enjoy what I do, they must sense I’m relaxed, that I’ve let go. I cannot allow them to sense the effot, the strain that I hold onto in my training.
It’s weird learning something from someone from scratch.
To be told with such certainty what’s right or wrong yet at the same time be told to be individual. To form your own opinion.
Where does foundation, reality, opinion and personal taste begin or end.
Only time and experience reveal universal truth, but we live far too short to acquire either
The result is temporary
Dance is a microcosm for life. The result happens now and only now. Without video I have no perspective on of well I did. It’s over as it beggins.
The reward is painful
Dance doesn’t pay well. People’s reactions and inspiration, turning heads is worth more than a career in dance.
Yet the pain is so vast. The sacrifice, the doubt, the shame and disappointment…
Perhaps things hard fought for feel more valuable dispite pretty blatant evidence to thcontrary….