Welcome to the 10-Day Dance Like You’re in Class with Mercedes Ruíz Home Challenge. I’m looking forward to the next ten days of virtual dance class with you!
Before we get into today's activity (an exercise to help you breathe better and in turn dance better), did you get a chance to think about your why? Why do you dance flamenco? How does it make you feel? Do you have performance goals or do you just like dancing in class and on your own? Do you dance professionally or for a hobby? You can share your why here.
(If you want to review how this 10-day challenge is set up, you can do that here.)
Okay, on to today's challenge.
I want to talk about how to get more out of your "time" with Mercedes during this challenge. Because I know it can be hard to squeeze in flamenco activities right now as many of us are busy with family, holiday stuff, and what not.
But before I get to that, a brief snippet from today ~
I decided to take the challenge on the road today while hiking with the family.
So Margot and I listened to Mercedes as we walked.
As it turns out many of her reminders were just as helpful to hiking as to flamenco,
'Respira, despacio, pompi dentro...'
Take 'pompi dentro' for instance:
Making a point not to let your bottom stick out forces you to engage your core which is most helpful in maintaining stability on the rocky and sometimes slippery trail.
If you've ever taken class with Mercedes Ruíz, you will likely recognize the words and phrases below. If you have not yet studied with her and plan to, prepare, because you are sure to hear these utterances over and over again.
If you have previously studied with her but were unsure of what she meant, read on, and find out.
If you have not studied with her and don't plan to, read anyway because the first eight are important tips to remember all of the time in your independent practice or in anybody's class.
Sometimes class feels too easy. And other times it feels too hard.
I've been in both situations.
And here's what I've discovered
When class feels too easy, it's usually because I've got my lazy pants on. No seas floja, Laura.
When class feels too difficult, it's usually because hard-on-myself me has taken over. Tranquila, Chiquilla.
We can get a lot or a little out of class
And it's really up to us.
I mean it.
There is basically one main concept to understand to help us get the most of any class.
People are feeling nervous.
Nervous and anxious about the Student Showcase on Saturday.
I know this feeling. Well.
So I thought I'd repost these tips today, performance tips.
Whether you're performing in front of your friends in class,
at a show in front of the public,
or even just in your own bedroom in front of your cat,
There are things we can do to ease our nerves ...
1. Do it anyway
2. Come back to your body
3. Respect opinions, but be yourself
4. Feel and allow
5. Notice all of the other "not thems" who are doing it alongside you
6. Remember that art is universal, and so is expression
I was rehearsing with Kuma the other day when I accidentally learned a bunch of lessons. All lessons that I'd learned before, as so often is the case.
He was playing cajón. I was dancing. And not long into things, the re-noticings started coming. One after another. I had to keep running over to my phone to write them down. Because I was so excited. And because I didn't want to forget.
After awhile, on account of one of the noticings, I realized it was time to stop running away from our practice to write them down.
This was important.