Backstage at the Kennedy Center Production of Little Dancer
Happy New Year! Thank you so much for dancing with me this year and giving me the joy and honor to share my love of ballet with you!
I recently finished reading The Power of Habit. I was struck by the way it applies to ballet. Just like anything else, ballet is a collection of habits–turnout and pointed feet and alignment are all little habits. As you bring your foot to passe, your brain reminds your knee to turn out to the side because it makes your teacher happy! Pretty soon the habit sticks and you don’t even have to think about it anymore.
As I teach, I’ve been learning that like me, your brains have habits of telling yourselves not-very-nice things. I see beautiful dancers, but it doesn’t occur to me that you don’t see that as well. And on the other hand, I don’t know why that should surprise me. I frustrated my teachers for years refusing to believe I was any good at all. From this book I read, I learned that belief is the magic ingredient that allows habits to change. So for this year I want to invite you to Believe that change is possible, that turn out and extension are attainable-that you can dance, and you are exactly as beautiful as you secretly hope to be.
Whatever you believe, this year and always, I hope you dance.
**See you in class! Every Tuesday 7-8pm at 380 Broadway, buzzer #5, NE corner of Broadway and White Street, 2 blocks south of Canal under a giant sign that says “Jeans”.