Still sliding around in socks. Not a large place, my apartment, but all the floors are wood. I'm beginning to realize how irritating friction can be. Dancing is fun, but often I feel as if I weigh too much -- not that I'm too bulky for my frame, just that one of the more annoying properties of matter is that it has mass, upon which gravity can act. There are a surprising number of dance moves that involve making like your feet don't stick to the floor, which of course they do. That's the whole point of thick, ridged skin on your soles. It's grippy, like the stuff on your hands. It's... obstructive.

I booked more studio time this week. I've done it before, but normally I just sort of go in there and stretch a lot and noodle around for a while, and when I leave I feel like I've accomplished a lot of nothing. I don't have any particular plan, and trying to choreograph something without a specific goal is a lot like those godawful assignments you get in school where they tell you to write X kind of essay or paper on "anything". Not fucking helpful, guys. Narrow it down some.

I'm looking forward to it. Slidy-slidy, testing things, where I can't get in anybody's way or get annoyed at a class because they can't stop and just let me experiment for a while. It's kind of odd. I'm used to feeling like booking studio time is pointless, and vaguely useless. This is probably useless, too, but I'm booking in the afternoons when the place would otherwise be half-empty, so at least my faffing about isn't displacing someone who wants to do real work.

Walking around, noting things like my balance and how I distribute weight on my feet, is also probably useless, and feels really narcissistic. I'm not sure if the problem is that I think this is a weird amount of attention to pay to myself, or that I think I should probably be embarrassed to come to the conclusion that I'm actually pretty coordinated and mindful and other cool shit like that. It's not like this isn't an assessment I regularly run on other people -- it's pretty easy to pick out telltale cues that someone is a trained dancer, martial artist, sprinter, &c., and I've obviously got a lot of those, because most people guess right about me.

When I was about ten, I put my foot down and refused to take any more ballet, because it was boring me stupid. There's a lot of nitpicking in ballet; the difference between doing it wrong and doing it right is basically down to being criticized by your instructor. Wrong means "does not look like someone decided it should a hundred years ago in Paris". It's arbitrary and a lot of it's damned difficult to correct since you can't necessarily see yourself in the mirror while doing it, because which way your head's pointing is also dictated by a bunch of long-dead dance directors. I decided I'd rather take tap or modern/jazz, on the grounds that if it's all arbitrary anyway, why can't I just do what I think looks cool instead?

Or switch to doing something that's not arbitrary. If you fuck something up in ballet, you don't look like the other dancers, and you don't necessarily know it until someone yells at you. If you fuck something up in figure skating, you know immediately, because it doesn't work. You fall down, or at the very least, you can feel that something has gone awry and take steps to catch yourself. As far as I can tell, nobody cares if you do your jumps with your thumbs stuffed in your ears -- and sooner or later, Plushenko will probably get around to testing this -- as long as you land on only one foot. I would never have lasted very long in competitive skating; I would probably have snapped and cut a bitch when I was still conveniently young enough to be charged as a juvenile. But I probably would have had a fair amount of fun if semi-private classes had been an option, as they were with dance.

The mechanics of figure skating make a suspicious amount of sense to me. I mean, I understand the physics, but I understand the raw physics of a lot of things without having a particularly useful idea of how they move in the real world. I have a hard time translating a diagram and instructions into movement in much the same way I have a hard time translating sheet music into real noises. My half-assed eidetic memory thing is multi-modal, and therefore so is my (misleadingly-named) visualization process. If I can't catch some elusive thread of melody, I can't sing the song myself; if I can't "feel" what it's like to flow through a set of motions, no amount of explanation is going to help me reproduce it.

I think I have a pretty good idea of how it would feel to perform an axel jump. It's usually a good sign when the kinesthetic "image" is this detailed -- it's sharp enough that I can already tell you that I'm going to want to launch off my right leg and swing clockwise. (Although God only knows what way I'm going to want to do the other jumps, if I ever miraculously get there. Some of them are counterrotated, which will probably muck things up further.) Either I'm pretty well right about it, or I'm so horribly wrong that I'll have to "forget" to find rink time for me and the coworker I invited to come watch me make a fool of myself on the ice, and you lot will never hear another word about it.

Comments

Post a Comment