How many times have you heard in your life, “integrate X-activity into your practice”…
Mmmmmm by practice…do you mean…show up two minutes before class starts with just enough time to take my shoes off…and then run out of the room right after class finishes to not think about any of it again until…the next class two days later?—oh, while also making sure to eat an abundance of Fritos and chocolate truffles while running to and from the studio?
Yes? No?…wait, really…No?
I’ll be honest, it wasn’t until VERY recently that I started to figure what all this “practice” hoopla is about…and through pragmatic research, I’ve decided that it’s not in fact a hypothetical thing that artsy-artists just say as one more way of isolating you from feeling legitimate. In fact, how many times have those artsy-artists made you feel like the biggest fraud ever for not actually understanding what it means to feel connected into the earth?
Ummm the floor is in the way, guys. I don’t care how hard you practice, the floor is definitely in the way…
So I say…screw the artsy-artists, I’m here to tell you from one Dyva to another, that you too can have a real-life, legitimate practice. You (yes, you!) can regularly engage in a series of activities that not only make you feel confident to throw glitter all over your kinesphere, but you can engage in activities that actually prepare you to go ham with your glitter without ever having to risk pulling a hammy (did you actually follow that logic?). Sounds like a win-win, yes? Yes.
As my performance opportunities have increased in the past few months, I’ve really started to identify what I need from my body to feel available and prepared for a successful performance. I can eventually find a comfortable groove to live in once I’ve hit the stage, as long as I know that I’ve primed both my mind and my body–especially when I’m nervous (as I seem to turn into a clammy mess of emotions).
For me, my practice starts first thing in the morning; I know that if I don’t sit down at the kitchen table and eat my breakfast off of a plate, that the rest of my day is a lost cause. If I can’t slow down long enough to feed myself like a human being, then all sense of balance follows suit, and I can pretty much kiss a grounded performance goodbye.
Other things I need?
- Healthy food that doesn’t make me feel bloated (I’m looking at you, dairy!)
- A good plank and a downward dog
- Some leg-swings
- Several plies
- Lots of standing roll-downs (…the official name, I’m sure)
**I MUST balance on releve on either foot while singing, “Whistle” by Flo-Rida. I do not step on stage without this final exercise being accomplished successfully. I have never been so serious in my life. (…please excuse the crude lyrics and images…I can’t really explain the appeal…it just is what it is…)
So that’s my list for performance needs, but even for class I require a little maintenance. Attending class regularly is a practice in itself, but my curiosities should always be alive to be truly invested and engaged in the material (even when I’m not in the studio under the guidance of a teacher and their syllabus).
Technique class is my version of a scientist’s lab, blow shit up and don’t worry about being on good behavior until the science fair eventually rolls around.
I think one of the most important parts of engaging in a practice is to first allow yourself to be humble. Practice makes perfect is a grossly summarized version of my mantra…or at least what I want it to be:
Practice makes failure. Failure makes progress. Progress is perfect.
Until the next science fair rolls around (or lets say, my next performance in April), I’ve got to stay committed to taking unapologetic risks in class. Not succeeding one day doesn’t mean I fail forever, it just means that I have a new goal to work towards. That’s exciting.
What do I need to feel successful in technique class?
- I can’t be too hungry or too full.
- KapDaddy must visit the potty. I know I’ll have to pee, I always do.
- I’ve got to turn off all technology at least 20 minutes before class so that I can focus my energy away from the distraction of social media and back in towards my body.
Seriously though, who can concentrate on undercurves with a raging case of FOMO? Not this Dyva.
I hate to say it, but *knowing that I have a practice and then *owning that I have a practice sort of makes me feel like an artsy-artist. But don’t worry, not the annoying kind…the floor is definitely still an issue…