If you watch professional dancers in any genre, you can see an amazingly beautiful give and take of momentum. Even solo dancers push in and pull out of their own bodies, away from and towards their centre of gravity, giving and taking in time with the music. Break dancers and ballroom dancers alike pull towards and away from each other, each giving just enough momentum to create the beauty we so admire before pulling back and diverting that momentum elsewhere.
I don’t know a lot about dancing, but one thing I do know is that dancers are strong! It is important to have strength, control and stability to be able to control your momentum and return to your core. A novice may be able to do a back flip, but she will often wobble and fall at the end. A beginner may spin at great speed in Scottish country dancing, but if he can’t finish without spinning out of control, he’s not a good dancer yet (and he’ll probably end up on the floor). No matter how far the dancer appears to be extending herself, a pro makes every move with intense control from a strong, stable and centred core.
This is a powerful metaphor for life. We each have a ‘core.’ We also have things beyond our core which it can be good to throw our momentum towards, as long as we have the skill and strength to be able to control ourselves and return to a stable, centred position. The trick is not to extend ourselves beyond the strength of our core.
We don’t want to be throwing ourselves aimlessly at everything that comes our way – there ain’t nothing beautiful about a dancer with limbs flying in all directions. The breathtaking beauty of dance depends both of the magic exactitude of the movements the dancer makes and on the still, strong, centred ability she has to not make any other movements.
So when, in life, it’s uncomfortable not throwing myself at all the things I could be doing, I remember this:
- Beauty and art come from absence as well as from presence – flailing limbs do not a dancer make.
- If I want to keep creating, I do well not to extend myself beyond the strength of my core.
- I create beauty by directing my momentum towards this dance’s moves.
- I create beauty by making self-controlled movements that begin and end with being centred in my core.
- I’m building my strength for tomorrow.
- This is self-control.
- This is the dance.
Featured Image by Pixabay user indy0333