The great thing about being at NSCD (and the other dance schools available) is the quality of teachers who share their knowledge with us.
We are currently in the process of getting back technique grades. This is a cause of great stress to many people. Will I be moved up a group? Or down a group? What did you get? Who got the highest? Did I get the lowest? And so on...
Today our release teacher Jamie obviously smelt the panic in the air and sat us down for a little chat before class.
He pointed out that the physical learning and change take a long time and sometimes the work we feel and the visible effects are not always compatible. Which can cause frustration and confusion when you work your behind off and your technique grade stays the same.
He carefully highlighted that technique grades are not a personal grade. Its not a mark for our personality, beliefs or achievements in life. And this is where the difficulty arises.
Dance is such a personal journey and investment of your self its hard not to take it personally.
Jamie reminded us of a subtle yet important point. And as I felt the whole class go 'Oh yeah. True' I felt lucky to have a teacher who could verbalise what we needed to hear.
Next up was contemporary class with Debbie. After using me as an example of someone who wasn't resonating enough (I'm practicing my intimidating lion roar right now) Debbie told us 'You don't need my permission to dance in class. We're not trying get good at doing class. We're trying to become better artists'.
I thought this was a beautiful way reminding us to shake off 'TCS' or 'Technique Class Syndrome'. This is where you stare tight jawed into the mirror whilst doing an exercise, trying to force your body to do everything its 'supposed' to be doing.
And you forget to do that thing. Dance.
Any old teacher can teach you the steps. But a good teacher knows what will help you dance them.