Wednesday, September 12, 2012

So You Think You Can... Get it RIGHT?

...Get it RIGHT?

I don't know what that means.

But... okay. Try.

Now... wait. Try again. Really. You have to do it more than once. Especially if you just learned it and/or are doing "it" for the first time.

Insert your "it" here. A tendu. A piroutte. An inversion. A time step. A business presentation. A language. A classroom. A Dance. Yes, with a capital "D". (and an A in capitAl. Check out the difference between capital and capitol at )

This post comes after a moment with a young dancer... I had just taught her a new phrase and after a minute or so of experimenting with it, she noticed I was watching her. Almost defensively she stated, "It's not in my body yet."

"Of course not. I just taught it to you. You're figuring it out. That's what you're supposed to be doing. Figure out how your body can negotiate the movement. Make it yours... but you need to spend some time with it... So, keep working."

She looked at me as if I had three heads before nodding and returning to her kinesthetic investigations. (Surprised that I would give her permission to experiment? Be patient? Witness her exploration?)

Later that evening, I was cross-training at the gym. One of the dance competition tv-shows was playing on a big screen next to one of the political conventions. The irony was not lost on me.

Watching both, side by side, I was not shown by the producers the years and years of work, research, sweat, tears, frustrations of these people. I was just shown a brief thirty to ninety seconds of very well rehearsed material. And that was the performance. The product. No wonder my student got defensive in class. Our society is being taught that we only have ninety seconds to impress our audience... whomever that might be.

Granted, first impressions are important in business transactions and social meetings, but when we're looking at education or an artistic process (or running the country), ninety seconds is not enough time to develop an understanding and relationship with a given subject.

Again, I don't know what "getting it right" means. Only that a lot of people are fixed on making sure that other people know what wasn't right. So, please take the time you/I/ we need to research and investigate and question and come up with several different answers.

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