A while back I was having a conversation with Peter Dunlevey, osteopath supreme and physical awareness lecturer at NSCD, about the opening of the olympic games and its awe inspiring choreography.
I didn't see it myself but Pete was telling me about the scale and the 'tricks' that relied on everybody to do what they need to do - at exactly the right time.
My comment was that I don't think we could achieve that level of precision on such a scale simply due to the cultural differences from here to China. As a culture we have very little (obvious) restrictions imposed on us by the state. We feel it is our right to do what we want when we want. And it makes a big difference on mentality.
I feel that sometimes within our year. If an exercise goes wrong people give up and walk off, they mutter under their breath if we have to do a jumping exercise twice or they moan about having to sit in a lecture.
There are some amazing dancers at NSCD, but a little bit of that Chinese discipline wouldn't go amiss sometimes.
Now, don't miss interpret me here nobody's perfect. I know for sure there are many things I don't do which I could, if I was a bit more disciplined. And sometimes class can be a challenge to stay focussed. But we haven't been sent to NSCD with no choice, in an attempt to aid our country's quest for gold medal domination. We had, and still have, a choice to be there.
Discipline doesn't have to be oppressive and suffocating, in fact it can be very small and simple things. But in my opinion it is important, and it does help.