Sunday, February 19, 2017

Dance is hard

While watching my daughter's ballet competition today a realization came to me. Dance has seemed odd to me, but I could never put my finger on why. Yes, the movements and physical strength of the dancers is impressive and beyond capabilities I would hope to have. The flexibility alone is astounding, but most performances of physical prowess have aspects of that. Dance is not simply a martial performance, but an art in a way that very few mediums are. It is hard, and it celebrates that.

Creative work, in general, is so unlike the work performed by most. Uniqueness is celebrated and creative souls are not fungible in a way that laborers too often are treated. Even among creative work, dance stands out. All dancers must meet the grace, coordination, fitness, and teamwork of their profession. Quite simply organizing a large group to synchronize their actions is a feat. Being a part of that is sufficient and audiences appreciate it. But beyond that is the feats of extraordinary performance.

Dance allows the artist to find one action that they alone can do and rewards that. It can be anything: a spin, a held stance, a flip, a stretch. If it is over and beyond what others can do then it is worthwhile. Dance celebrates hard for the sake of hard. Do what others cannot and dance will embrace it. Perfect something hard and show that off. Dance allows it, dance embraces it, and dance celebrates it.

It really is an amazing thing. I am grateful to my daughter for the opportunity to experience this world. We all could do a lot worse than keeping an eye out for people that have perfected hard. Find more chances to identify the work they put in and place them center stage, even if it is just to do that one thing. Teamwork, timing, and perfect execution of the mundane is excellent, but be on the lookout for when you can reward hard.

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