Finish it!

I teach the same step sequences for an entire quarter, for a season. This allow the students enough time to go beyond rudimentary memorization of steps and mastering coordination of their limbs. By the end of a three month period, we’re able to address what matters most to me — musical phrasing and the options for individual artistic choices, rather than body mechanics.

This is the last week of summer. Time to move on .

images-3.jpegAs with when doing a dress rehearsal for performance (or for any creative endeavor), there is always a longing for just a little more time, always room for improvement (i.e. In this summer session now ending, we never quite got the hang of that arabesque turn; and the legs are still late to close position in the air for the jumping step called assemble’).

How do you bring a sense of satisfaction to the decision that your work is complete?

Whatever the sequences I weave together for the autumn class, I’ll include those steps in which our mastery is deficient. We may be done with our summer patterns; but the technical challenges continue. Maybe the greatest satisfaction is with our long-term results.

Do you agree?


Entrances & Exits

images-3.jpegMy current theme for dance class instruction is Entrances & Exits. In the studio we explore the concepts literally; but as metaphor the theme continues to resonate for me long after class.

Examples are everywhere — the greetings that one bothers to make entering a dinner party (or not), or the manner in which one exits a business meeting, are doors to and from experiences, deserving of attention.

Sometimes the periods of one’s life have no defined portal; they’re more like a tunnel or a continuous staircase. My mother’s death earlier this year was clearly an exit for her. The same moment was an entrance for me and my family to a new phase of existence…not so easily defined as Mom’s departure.

How do you recognize and honor a passage?

Sometimes when the season changes with the coloring of leaves, I think that I’ve entered a new period of my life; but its beginning may be only a vague feeling. The presence of a doorway into a new time of life is a matter of interpretation; and yet that interpretation, that recognition that one is entering or exiting, makes a huge difference going forward.

What do you think?