Sunday, May 16, 2010

Personal Identity in Dance

photo taken from

Found this lovely little post in my google reader this morning.

It's comforting to know that even a dancer at the upper echelons of dance has these same thoughts and discussions. I often think, "I wish I danced like 'so-and-so'" too, but I'm (very, very) slowly learning to assimilate (read: steal) and imitate concepts and moves from the dancers that inspire me. The idea is that I'll take real ownership of these movements by expressing them the way my body best expresses them. In the end, they won't be “so”-and-so’s” moves or style, but "mine."

Evita was one of the instructors at the Southern Belle Swing Bash 2009 in Atlanta, so I had the chance to observe her in person. (Southern Belle is the longest running follow-focused workshop. It’s run by the organizers of Lindy Focus, Michael and Jaya. I’ve attended twice as a lead (leads are free!) and I got just as much out of them as “regular” workshops. It’s a wonderful workshop; I highly recommend it. One of my favorite pastimes is to steal swingout variations from follows and these events are the perfect opportunity.) Evita taught a class about being an inspiring dancer. There were some silly exercises, like acting out the different ways to ask someone to dance, but in the end they all demonstrated the difference that a positive attitude brings to the dance.

If there's anything I want to "steal" from Evita, it's her vitality and energy. (see above) Dancing with her (or just watching her dance) never fails to bring a smile to my face. She's completely approachable and very friendly; she has a way of finding inspiration from every other dancer she encounters. She's clearly in love with dance and it shows.

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