Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Words to Dance By

Today during ballet, Suki stops me after ronde de jambs.

"You're bending your knee when you bring it back through. It needs to be straight."

She demonstrates, showing how the leg should come through first position, straight and aligned.

I try, and notice that it's a bit difficult.

"Suki, I think I'm doing it wrong because I have hyperextended knees. They bump into each other on the way back through, so the working leg bends." I show her my hyperextended knees.

See the way that my legs line up but my heels don't touch? Ideally, the dancer's legs should be straight down and even from thigh to heel.

We talk for a while about different solutions to this problem, including ones Carol has suggested to me: don't straighten the leg the whole way, do a first position with an inch between your heels. Of course I'd forgotten about them today; that's why my leg wasn't straight. It seems like I'm just going to have to go on learning the same thing over and over until it's just the way I dance.

"I think ballet is all about learning to dance with the body you've been given," I tell Suki.

Her eyes widen. "THAT'S IT!" she says. "That's exactly what ballet is about. Learning to dance with the body you've been given."

A lesson for ballet, TKD, and life.

1 comment:

ellen said...

Hey, Jane! Those are CLASPY knees! I have them too and sometime when I see a picture of me standing I have to laugh at how ridiculous they look!