When you have a “team”, or a “group” or a “squad” – you all ought to be able to develop talents and help each other catalyse the learning processes of those talents.
In ballet here is how you build a dream-class: you acknowledge the strengths of each individual because that is what they will be offering each other in exchange for the mutual humiliation that is trying to learn how to do absolutely anything. A good metaphor for this is also – “family”.
First of all – the royal ballet meticulously checks people for any sign of physical weakness or injury, or even the distribution of weight that could result in injury. Dancers bodies morph to become the same when they hang out – it takes time but it definitely happens. You have to be careful about people with injuries. Those are contagious, but it takes a long time to observe that because some injuries occur with gaps in time. Not contagious like a virus, contagious like – a strange domino effect that reminds us that we connect to people that we grow with. I had an issue with my knees dislocating as a teenager and once it happened to me, it started happening to a lot of people that knew me. And people that knew people that knew me.
When you even discuss an injury aloud, you and the people you discuss it with somehow imagine it, especially if they’re sensitive to hearing about pain. Most dancers don’t bother dwelling on their issues. Actually they keep them private because dance companies don’t hesitate to get rid of people who are liabilities. “Suffering in silence” is good manners in ballet land and the truth is, they’re all doing it. So if one’s hiding anorexia – they’re all going to get it at some point too. (That’s not a quiet cry for help – my mother hid anorexia. I do not have anorexia. I like food. A lot. When I became aware of the fact I had anorexia years ago, I was quite eager to sort it out because I like food a lot. But I grew up with a mother who had the same eating habits she had growing up and I saw the toll that took on her, and knowing her past as a dancer it’s never not going to be upsetting.)
There is someone who has inner control – that is core strength. That means that if they are standing up straight they are technically – if they have proper technique – probably using every muscle in their body. Without thinking – impulsively. Their muscles turn on and off and they have an advantage because they are generally quite balanced.
There is someone who has style. Style is what happens when you have learned the moves off by heart. No one – NO ONE can teach you this.
No one can just teach you a style – style is ONLY copied. Sometimes made better. (If you emulate someone’s style in a ballet class it is correct to humbly and matter of factly say so “to be honest there is no dancer in here that would be better to emulate. I admire your style”. If you can learn to say that to someone – even if you don’t like them – it is actually just offering respect. It’s unlikely they’ll appreciate the compliment – for many years. But you still did the correct and sportsperson like thing.)
I know because I did this once – in a class I just subconsciously started dancing like a girl who might’ve been, at the time – the best dancer I’d ever seen. Actually what happened was, if you are spiritual, is that she picked a talent or quality she saw in me and we connected and that meant I could copy a dance I had just seen her do – even though I’d never done it before and my memory is bad. I never told her that I had copied her – and of course I had because no one else danced like her – and I think it’s because I’d never been taught to do that.
Style is subconscious and sometimes it is stolen from watching your favourite gestures and the moves that work well with people’s bodies. Tall girls will be floaty and shorter ones will be more abrupt, generally.
I think also that style is probably to do with which muscles you can comfortably relax. Dancers who have a lot of style generally don’t have a very strong core or are somehow otherwise lacking – but they are the most breathtaking to watch. A person with core can very steadily lift their arm and hold it there for a long time like a statue – and make it look easy because it is easy to them. A person with style can pick what part of their body you are looking at and generally you should be looking at literally nothing else and even if they make a mistake you won’t really notice. Unless they don’t have much grace.
Style is not the same as grace.
There is someone who has grace. Quite dainty. This means that after lots of hard work, the dancer is great at making it all look effortless. They can jump across rocks on a riverbed like a fairy and make it look like they’ve mastered floating but actually they probably did a lot of gymnastics or acrobatics and grew up with someone who liked to shop a lot, so they learned to do those things in cute clothes.
They have probably spent hours of their lives standing in a particular position or doing the same thing over and over and over and over and over again. Grace is confused for style. It’s not. It’s something to be combined. In ballet anyway.
If you have grace you can fall flat on your face and make it look intentional and often it’s dancers with style and grace that are the most memorable because no one appreciates technique unless they actually know how difficult it’s supposed to be to simply properly point your foot.
Basically – a person with grace can jump a metre or so in the air and land on one foot and make it all look very pretty and also probably not make a sound either – a person with style will probably do all sorts of subtle flamboyant things to make it not-just-any-jump. A person with good technique will probably not break a single ballet rule for even a milisecond and will use every appropriate muscle for every tiny movement.
There are people who have a lot of muscle and who build muscle mass fast.
Now – when you are putting together a group of talented dancers – you pick them based on these talents, generally. Without ever speaking, without being friends, without hanging out at lunch etc – these people will begin to have the same abilities. The skinny graceful girl that can bounce super high in the air and land without making a sound will eventually also have a similar build to the person who builds muscle fast and also be able to imitate the one who isn’t all that great technically but can hypnotise you into giving her a principal role because when she is on the stage – it doesn’t really matter who else is. etc.
Stage presence. haha.
But that is how dancers experience ‘sharing energy’. If dancers are together for long enough they will start to move the same. If writers read each others stuff or exchange dialogue a lot they will start to speak with the same words. If a dog hangs out with someone for long enough they’ll start looking like them.
It’s not a big deal and it’s the truth – so why has religion and the pursuit of spirituality had to explain this aspect of physical existence in stead of science? how terrible is that?
Doctors will put ill people together – from any other perspective that makes no sense. You do not put a lot of bad dancers together – because they will always be bad dancers. I mean – you can say you’ve never seen something and pretend not to know I exist and pretend all sorts – but I know from your use of words, I know from how you use commas, I know from the breaths you take in between words and the gestures you use to explain things.
Anyway. we make the same mistakes.
I learned today that my knee issue – if I want to resolve it – means I have to work on strengthening my very flexible ankles
I’m supposed to be moving out but I literally can’t lift anything because I took a shit I’d been holding in for 20 days the night before last. I literally had the most ridiculous and exhausting and offensive confrontation I’ve had in a long time and I should care about it but I don’t at all, I am so zen. I got out a lot of negative feelings I had been holding in and that was a first.
(The morning after I took that shit and had an argument – I went into the bathroom and there was a thick drop of blood on the floor that must’ve fallen from a wound on my asshole and I think it would be irresponsible to start picking my stuff up and moving onto my next fun time with some new creative perspective while I still actually can’t even tense my buttcheeks without wincing a bit)
It is important to me, as a feminist, to override what I assure you is an OCD feminine self that would rather die than let me verbalise something so personal. But it’s the truth. And actually I resent that we live in a society that could possibly expect people to ever have to be put in the position where they ought feel the need to justify why they’re pretty slow about getting much of anything done.
Twenty days without going to the loo, and also needing to eat quite a lot to not feel hungry and/or extremely dizzy – and not being able to move much beyond standing on one foot like those yogis do (this isn’t a gravity thing, I promise you as a person who knows the weight of the stuff) (the stuff is a euphemism)
Anyway. ugh someone pissed me off and I shouted – about the toilet stuff – “I AM TECHNICALLY DISABLED?!” and I got “thats not my problem???” as a response
Nooooo it’s not your problem you daft thing. Just don’t pick a fight with me when I’m bleeding? I’ve never made this your problem just keep your nose out of my fucking business and don’t talk about me behind my back unless you’re going to explain the real facts?
My self esteem doesn’t come from anyone else. I don’t care if I look bad or naked or whatever in your company – and if we are really friends I shouldn’t have to either. I shouldn’t have to explain to your terribly brought up friends that it’s difficult for me to work in an office like you all did, in your youths – because I have a serious and sometimes debilitating medical issue that I could technically be getting benefits for.
Like I wouldn’t bother going through the GP avenue – I’d head on down to the benefits office and block their toilet and tell them thats why – for however employable (VERY) I am – I can’t really work just anywhere.
I don’t want to make my medical issue your problem. I’m sorry that my medical issue is boring to you and that I’m bringing it it up at all. Really.
I’m sorry that you find the details about me, that you seem to forget to add when you talk about me – boring.
I can understand that it is different to say “she’s doing a Law Alevel as she wants her NEXT degree (that is, her second degree) to be in Law because when she’s in her sixties she’d quite like to be a Judge, like her great grandfather – who was a Judge of the High Court around about the time after the Second World War.
Or – she’s been hired by psychic tv!!!!11!!!!! (the most exciting thing I think you could share)
Or… She’s recently written, filmed and animated a children’s short-story. She’s recently finished making a theology/erotic coffee table book that evaluated all the spiritual lessons she’s learned throughout her life.
Or – she was a victim of police brutality and made such a huge – and yet unacknowledged fuss about it – that all police are required to wear a camera and recording device since the incident of her being assaulted. This benefits the many people who are victims of police brutality every day. It sure isn’t enough but it’s a contribution. (this one is probably more along the vein of the kind of drama people want to stir when they discuss me and really the best source of information on this IS ME)
OR “she spends literally all fucking day meditating about something”
Anyway right now I am listening to this. This is great if you like violins. Bohemian artists who believe in Truth, Freedom, Beauty and Love before all things really need to complain and this is the most perfect music to do it to.
I could probably compare the way this song was structured to how I’ve discussed how energy and talent is distributed in a collective of people who have been properly put together based on strengths but you’d find that boring and most people would find that boring and that is why I’m single
Thats why I’m single – because I find people boring or rude or terribly brought up or too similar to me to be able to tolerate. All sorts. I probably don’t want to share energy with you very much.
My ex of four years had – I don’t know if he does anymore – a cat called Phoenix. And his sister looks EXACTLY like Lindsey if his sister was a mormon violinist. His sister hated me but I know she secretly fancied me because I have the most incredible dyke-dar
If she read that she would throw a hard thing at my head with zero remorse and also it’s true so
(Learn to read sentences like the one above with a British sense of humour. Comedy is the only thing the English have got on anyone else. Thats it. The British sense of humour is expressing sentiments of familiarity through very calmly saying expletive things. For example if my mother – who is not British but is well spoken and was so strict that the only things I was allowed to watch as a child were Period dramas, British comedies and stuff C.S Lewis had written – (See what I’ve written is depressing but if you watched the comedies I did growing up you’d at least smile a bit) told one of our dogs she was going to throw a shoe at it, she probably wouldn’t actually do it.)