Pushing and Pulling Simultaneously

“It’s not my fault- it’s ballet!” is a frequent comment by ballet instructor Kat Wildish after correcting students in her Advanced Beginner Ballet class at the Alvin Ailey extension.  Kat, like most good ballet teachers, is a fiery ball of drill sergeant, grace and compassion.   Of course, Kat has a southern accent, which makes anything she barks sound charming.  I’ve seen her threaten to shoot searing lasers at piano players who aren’t playing the appropriate tune to her adagio to encouraging students to, “be nice to yourselves- in your head there, when you’re trying to balance.”  Words I really need to hear, given that I am a perfectionist mind slapper.  In order to be a good dancer, you need to have discipline, focus and you also need to let go and be vulnerable.  You reach for the sky as you push into the ground- much like trying to make it in New York.

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