Thread: soft style?
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Old 04-20-2003, 11:47 AM   #13
Qatana
 
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Dojo: Aikido of Petaluma, Petaluma,CA
Join Date: Jan 2003
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And my point(e) is that there is Nothing soft about ballet.

The 10 years I was Dancing I was in the best physical condition in my life.

Nothing soft about obsessive committment to physical discipline. Or lots of us wouldn't be right here, right now.

Lets see there is learning to always move from center.Training in balance, flexibility, extension & endurance.Interpersonal relating, which doesn't come quite so easily in the studio as in the dojo as ballet is a fiercely competitive sport.Anyone who has trained in pas-de-deux has a great head start on the physical relationships of aikido-any of you ever been lifted 9 feet into the air by someone who was afraid? As liftee, i sure can see the similarities with ukemi. Hmmm, breath control-you never see ballet dancers breathing heavily on stage.Along with that, awareness of the back. Awareness of space and bodies moving through it.

Body type? Sorry, that ridiculous body type standard does have some founding in physics.And amazingly enough there is a safety element in being "boyishly"built- how would you react if you were lifting a somewhat well endowed partner, on stage, and accidentally got a handful? When it happened to me, i got dropped. Not on stage fortunately but still... however since the death of George Balanchine, who "dictated the standard" the dance community has become much more forgiving and inclusive, preferring to judge dancers on talent & technical ability before body type. I know some rather large and or muscular women who have solid professional dance careers.

I certainly don't have the standard ballet type body and that didn't keep me from performing semi-pro for most of my 30's.

Yes, there are technical aspects to ballet that don't work in other forms such as aikido, tai chi or Argentine Tango. Yes i have trouble keeping my feet parallel instead of turned out. but i do have poise, balance, grace, center and when i was doing karate the black belts hated me cause i could kick them in their 6'2" faces with my 5'2" body.

My point being, once again, ballet is not soft. It only looks that way.

Q
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