So this week at college we’ve been talking about the importance of meaningful reflection, which is something that I really value, and do a lot of on this blog. The thing is that I like to reflect on big experiences, as a whole, and this doesn’t necessarily have a lot of value in my current training, where I need to reflect daily and weekly in order to improve. So here is my attempt at reflecting on the past week…
One thing that I notice all the time is how tired I am, on Monday I felt like I hadn’t even had a weekend, I was so tired at that point I genuinely didn’t see how I was going to make it to Friday without a breakdown somewhere along the way. Then on Wednesday I started the day full of energy and raring to go, only to have a huge energy crash half way through class. So I’m thinking about what I should do about my energy levels, partly I think I just need to get used to it, after a few more weeks of full time training I will hopefully have developed a higher level of stamina, and, perhaps without actively noticing it, I will be able to carry on for longer easier. Then I also need to consider my sleep, maybe I need to go to bed a bit earlier or get up a bit later- however, but just get a bit more so that I’m ready to go the next day. There’s also the importance of meaningful rest, because last weekend I don’t feel like I really got enough rest- I taught on Saturday morning and went shopping in the afternoon, then cleaned and met my parents in town on Sunday, so this Sunday I have tried to have a more chilled day, just going shopping and catching up on work, which I find quite hard, because I’m generally quite a manic person and like to be doing something all the time, but I do need it.
Another thing that I really noticed was the way other people act around me can really affect my mood, on Wednesday we were partnered up in contemporary class and had to give each other corrections, my partner was a proper task master and was extremely critical of my technique, not allowing me to give hime critique until I had improved mine a satisfactory amount. During the class before this, I had been feeling quite positive about how I was doing and was enjoying the class becuase we really got to move a lot, but what he was saying really brought me down. I think I need to learn to take it all with a pinch of salt. I know that I have a bloody lot to learn, having been doing contemporary for such a short amount of time- I need to take on board what I can a bit at a time, and not be too discouraged by criticism, because I have the time and I’m here to learn now, so I will, I just need to go at my own pace and not let it get me down when he surmises that I’m not doing things correctly.
On Thursday our contempoary technique teacher wasn’t in college, so we had a third year teach us our class, this was really inspiring and it was actually incredible to think that with the training we’re getting here, in a couple of years, I will hopefully be as good a dancer as she is. It was a great class because for the first time since we arrived, we really got to move and dance properly, without being too focussed on technique, so I really enjoyed it. The problem was that I was very anxious about picking up the choreography, because I’m out of practice of picking things up at speed, the thing was that I was actually getting it, I was just so nervous that I wasn’t that it was putting me off. This is something that I really need to work on, staying calm and focussed when being given material, and asking the teacher or other people when I don’t get the steps rather than panicking, and then hopefully I will improve over time as I get used to the process.
Another thing that I have definitely learnt in the past week is how diverse contemporary dance is, we’ve been to watch 3 triple bills in the last week and they’ve all been great and all so different. Now that I’ve experienced more contemporary repetoire, I am really starting to be able to form complex opinions about it- what I like and what I don’t like, what type of dancers, what style, what movements, what set ups I think work and don’t work- I really think this is going to help me in my training and help me develop my own style because I know what I like and don’t like in other people.
Actually writing it down- I have learnt a lot in the last week- I need to remember to focus on the positives and my breakthroughs as well as the negative things I’ve experienced, and I have worked out what I need to do in the situations that I need to improve. Reflection is useful, I think I will start doing this more regularly, to improve myself as a dancer and a person.