So the ‘Beauties’ fresh from ‘Align 2’ Workshop have arrived in our class. Bjarne’s arms and head requirements gave them a bit of a jolt and I wonder if any were on the verge of tears as I was in my first class. One delicate dancer was gripping the bar so hard it was squeaking and rattling.
I am happy that the class is a little slower because I have so much to work on and I can address my ‘to do’ list better when I go slowly. My list is;
– be as free of the bar as possible.
– let the dance be in my whole being
– let legs be as arms
‘Let legs be as arms’ has been a mystery to me my whole life. My legs seem heavy to move around and yet I see dancers (like Bjarne) toss them around as easily as their arms. I struggle to lift those babies. And coming back to dance after more than thirty years it has been very humbling to ask my leg to extend away from me and it just doesn’t go. I have lost much. But if I am to build again I want to do it differently or there is no point.
Bjarne talks about using an image to balance. Ballet is filled with one leg balances on the ball of your foot. I have had moments of understanding when he first explained it, ‘Look slightly up and let your body be lifted and held by your inner vision’. When I gave myself over to the image it worked like a charm. But I haven’t been able to repeat enough to make it mine.
Yes, it takes time to built the muscles in my feet and calves but the hardest thing of all for me is surrendering completely to the image. Even though I have done it and when it works, it’s easy and thrilling. As if I live in a room and when the image is applied I live on the window ledge with the wind in my hair.
How I want that. Why don’t I let it be easy? Am I battling my logic that an image can hold me? When the image leads my whole body comes under one director. My body understands how to bring all its parts together when an image is clearly applied. I know this image space is where the dance lives.
So I seek an image for moving my legs like arms. Something that will unite my body and engage the right muscles. I have to be patient as I need the muscles to be developed inch by inch as I search to connect to the right image.
This is so important to me that I would not take class without trying to implement this goal. Perhaps feeling like my legs are a burden started when I was a baby. I was born with a floppy foot and had aluminium splints put on both my legs from the time I was 6 months to 18 months and my crawling and and walking impulses were lived out with bound legs and feet. Can the image be stronger than cellular habit? Will awareness and use of image overcome an old and no longer relevant idea? We shall see. Inch by inch.
- The photo below is of a window on Beverly Blvd near Kings Rd in Los Angeles where old point shoes go to rest.