Friday, September 14, 2012

Modern Dance Technique

Modern Technique baffles me.  There's no real structure to this type of dancing.  My first class left me feeling confused.  It probably didn't help that I thought I was going to a class where I was going to have a very structured learning experience.  I thought moves were going to be broken down and I was going to be given a lectured approach to dance.  My preconceived notions of my expectations were far from reality.  Class began with an assortment of strange moves to music that I'd never heard before.  The moves were far from what I'd previously considered as dancing.  I left my first class hating Modern Technique.  My second class experience went a little better.  All the moves from my first class were done again which allowed me to actually feel as though I was accomplishing something.  I have skipped what should have been my third class today as I ground my spine into the floor during my "X" pose in my second class.  My spine was rubbed raw and I have three areas that are healing with scabs that I don't want to reopen.  I'm hoping by my midweek class they will have healed.  In an attempt to grasp some kind of understanding on this dance form and why anyone would seek out a class to dance like this, I've decided to conduct some research on the topic.  I came across a video online that sort of explains Modern Dance Technique a little better.  Modern Dance Techniques introduces a brief history of the dance form as well as the type of movement one can expect in a class.  The instructor in the video mentions how Modern Dance Techniques are very much a melting pot of other dance forms when creating movement.  This explanation has given me a better sense of how I am able to identify with this type of dancing.  If anything, after experiencing Modern Dance Technique, I have been left feeling hungry for more structure which is why I am taking my first Ballet class this week. 

Post Third Class.  Modern Technique is beginning to grow on me.  For my third class, my instructor changed the routine.  I like this new routine.  It's full of whimsical spins that utilize the center floor.  Although I'd like to pretend and say I was wisked away by the art and performed the beautiful spins effortlessly, unfortunately I have to admit I flopped around like a fish out of water with no grace or elegance whatsoever.  I'm envious of the students who performed each move like it was as natural to them as breathing.  I'm puzzled at how I can be graceful at one form of dance and look utterly disasterous at another.  I guess I will be sticking to my Modern Tecnique.  It appears I have a lot of work to do.  I wonder if my instructor will let me film the segment of the routine with the pretty spin so I can practice this on my own and master the movement at my own pace?  I'm going to inquire about this in my next lesson on Sunday.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Poise, Posture, & Grace. Ballet.

Yesterday was my first time ever taking a ballet class.  Ballet has always been a mysterious dance form for me.  I never had the opportunity to experience Ballet as a child and have spent the last four years studying diligently various forms of dance only to find myself always pondering what skills I would acquire from Ballet.  After having to take Modern Technique for the upcoming show I've been cast in, I discovered the theatre offered adult beginner level classes.  I was thrilled to discover that while I'd decided to participate in learning what I could about Ballet, that the theatre's latest series of classes was about to begin. 

In preparation for my first lesson, I decided it would be wise for me to do a little research to find out what exactly should I expect for my initial lesson.  I was glad I did this as many of the things I'd learned online served as a solid basis that allowed me to easily flow along with the other students in class.  The information provided by offers readers with a detailed online introductory lesson.  I learned essential basics such as the five basic positions, posture, and movement terminology.  All of which I experienced in my first lesson.  Having a basic understanding of these terms helped me fit right in and practice my form rather than stumble over my own confusion. 

My class began with basic barre exercises utilizing the positions.  I found fifth position to be a little difficult as a beginner, therefore I maintained comfort within my first, second, and third positions.  The stretching movements performed during the class felt good.  I was able to determine what areas I need improvement on with my own body as Ballet focuses on bilateral form for an equalization of strengthening and stretching.  My left hip was quite stiff and slightly hindered my ability to perform moves that came quite easily for my right.  I also found that during moves if I maintained first position with my arms or kept them hinged at my hips with correct form of my upper body, I was able to comfortably focus on the foot work.  I will work on adding in the arm movements as I progress.  My teacher was wonderful. She was an older woman that reminded me of my late grandmother.  I could tell she really enjoys Ballet and has an eye for her student's in teaching them the correct form.  She gently corrected us in our form when necessary.  The overall environment of the class was comfortable and the curriculum flowed well throughout the 90 minutes of class time.   The cool down portion of class was my favorite as it focused on form and posture that enabled me to feel a good stretch throughout.  Overall, I really enjoyed my Ballet class experience.  I look forward to future classes and the purchasing of my first pair of Ballet shoes. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Dancing is a Journey...

It's been awhile since I've written about anything "dance" related.  I have been very distant in the past couple of months in regards to the pole community.  For multiple reasons that none of which I'm not quite sure of as being the one specific reason, but I have found myself to have grown bored with the pole community.  I also felt like keeping up with all that has been going on just left me feeling drained.  I was becoming restless when it came to the trend I was seeing within the pole community and the lack of dancing that has become the "art" form.  Sometimes taking a break is what one truly needs.  I have continued to teach my students and have been quite content with being involved locally to help the pole/aerial community grow.  I have also found other areas within the local dance community where I've been able to experience performing opportunities that will allow me to grow as a dancer.  I decided to concentrate on aerial work and was presented with an opportunity to audition for an upcoming show featuring an aerial piece.  I'm excited to announce that I have been cast in the show which will premier in November.  In addition to rehearsals, I have been taking mandatory Modern Technique classes twice a week and will be beginning a Ballet class this Tuesday.  I'm really excited to be involved in something unique that will help me grow artistically in my dancing.  I'm learning that dancing can be full of exciting experiences, each a journey of it's own worth the hard work and determination it took to get there.