Monday, 31 January 2011

Dancing for joy

Dance has such a capacity for joy, and for expressing that joy physically: I suddenly realised that this weekend at an amazing class lead by Olivia Pickford (usually found choreographing London Children's Ballet) at my studios. Not only was it a fantastic opportunity to take a class with an extremely experienced teacher and amazing dancer, but it really reminded me why I love ballet.

I won't even go into the fantastic imagery she used to get us to understand steps or enchainement, or the way she motivated us with her voice and her stories, or even her effervescent passion for dance; If I took nothing else away from the class it was her indictment to 'dance for joy' - to show that love of dance in your upturned eyes (yes, finally, I know why I need to keep my eyeline up - it's sheer joy and theatricality - I felt so different doing this) and the lightness of certain steps.  It's so easy to get bogged down in technique, that often when someone reminds you to smile, it's a mechanical, forced smile, so having someone reminding us why we dance in the first place really threw my perspective.

Given; not all roles are joyous or light and so it doesn't always fit, but whether like me, you only take 2-3 classes a week or you dance for hours a day, I think it's worth remembering to dance for joy - for dance's sake, but for your own sake too!

Image: Olivia talked and danced some of Juliet's light and joyous steps - what a fantastic image to take away!

Go, do it - dance for joy, feel like a ballerina and enjoy it! (and tell me all about it!)


  1. This is a wonderful post. I really, really love your writing and what you are communicating. Dancing is joy, especially when you give yourself to the movement. I did a little ballet in high school, but I am reluctant to admit how passionate I still am about it. I still feel JOYOUS when I dance, even if its only around my house. I'd love to get back into classes but feel funny as a twenty-something with little ballet experience :(

  2. Thanks Juliet. You should go back to ballet. My studios run adult classes for all levels and I (and all the adults there) love it. You'll find as soon as you're back in the studio, you wont feel funny at all - you'll just love to dance!