I think we all have particular buzzwords. Words that cause a light bulb to light up in our heads or suddenly make us stop mid-step when out on the street. In class, I always try to listen to what my teachers say (maybe too hard sometimes) and I always try to put it into practice but occasionally (ok, most times) ten minutes after they have told me, I’m back with the music, dancing how I ‘feel’ and those nagging errors are back in place again.
For example, I know that when I do voleos, I often do them with my legs a bit too wide, almost with a turn out. When we are drilling them, I’ll make a real effort to brush my moving leg over my standing leg’s knee (for a front voleo) and vice-versa (for the back voleo). I might even get into the swing of it and start to do it naturally but as soon as the music begins and I find myself dancing ‘with’ the music (as opposed to dancing the steps ‘to’ the music) then my technique skills fly out the window. It’s the constant balance between musicality and technique.
But I’ve now had a breakthrough and it’s all to do with buzzwords, which are specific to each of us. For me the word is ‘elegant’ – it’s what I most consistently aspire to be/how I want to dance/ how I want to act, so use this word and suddenly you have the trigger I need to make me dance better. So back to my class story, we were again drilling the voleos, with my teacher making comments to each of us. She came up to me, watched me a few seconds and then said, ‘Golondrina, you have a tendency to let your legs turn out too much, it leaves a gap between your thighs. It’s not very elegant’. She had found my buzzword and suddenly there was not just an awareness on my part but a horrible clarity too: I could see it in my mind and I desperately did not like that image! I was horrified but it also made a lot of sense.
After class, we continued with our usual practica and obviously my voleos were not perfect but now I could let myself dance with the music like usual but whenever a voleo came along and I did it wrong – something lit up in my subconscious and I knew it was wrong. I didn’t have to consciously look out for them, something inside of me (the Quality Standards Officer perhaps) went ‘yuk’ whenever I did them wrong and I started to slowly do them better.
Have you got a buzzword?