Striving for Perfection or Mere Circus Tricks

In striving for perfection, the following concerns me:

The disproportionate number of knee injuries dancers have and the number of dancers who need hip operations after they finish their career.

Are we giving dancers and serious students enough ‘down time’ for recovery of muscles and joints. Quite a few movements are extreme on the joints, though aesthetically lovely to watch or stunning to view. Perhaps more time in warm up and careful cool down stretching with specifically designed exercises is needed. I find the quadriceps muscles particularly need to be stretched after dance.

Physios even talk of ‘rest days.’

Teachers need to use discernment. In competitions, accomplishing extreme feats is rewarded. It would be amazing if we could somehow measure the director or teacher’s care of the dancers in our charge – and reward that!

In performance it would amazing if our ability to ‘move’ the audience would be our goal rather than aim to have them impressed with how ‘clever’ we or the dancers are!

My teachers Misses Joan & Monica Halliday (dance legends in Australia) used to say (with disdain) at dance that became just a series of feats and devoid of art… ‘mere circus tricks’. I think they were right on track!

~ Beth Bluett de Baudistel  

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