Who’s who?

The studio reopens. Every year, every month, every week, enthusiastic bodies sign up for dance lessons. It is interesting to see how the recruits will evolve over time. Some of them will steadily progress. Others never improve (and neither do they care to). Some come with latent aspirations that only become apparent over time.

There are those who come to the studio with a clandestine goal. They possess a secret desire to become a professional dancer. Fearing ridicule , the mere suggestion leaves them faltering in denial. But they are in awe of the industry, and spurred on by the dream they hold close to their hearts. They hope that with hard work, they will be singled out and elevated above the rest. They dream of being catapulted to their rightful place: centre stage.

Some of the rookies are bursting with naïve ambition. They are set to rival the best in six months. They display an unbridled passion to be the best, but they have yet to understand the ardour associated with success. For the most part, they display a working ethic that is impressive. One hopes that their resolve will be sustained over time.

Ostensibly the Trojans demonstrate that consistency yields results over time . Their regularity of attendance adds a sense of stability to the studio. They become self assigned pr agents and work well to encourage other new recruits. Unfortunately, as time passes, some of the Trojans lose their capacity to progress in class and their inner drive begins to wane. Ultimately they stagnate. Perhaps they have become complacent. No matter, they are comfortable in the small pond where the big fish are few . They are content until new energies sweep in and cause ripples.

Others, aware of age, the passing of time and perhaps missed opportunities, have come to recapture a glimmer of yesteryear. Unencumbered by desperate ambition, they display a relaxed and friendly disposition. unafraid of feedback this group bring joy to the studio, and a spring in their step. They are sincerely happy being who they are.

Occasionally, one observes that a talented dancer has reached an impasse. She is stuck, on the cusp. It is frustrating not to know what is holding her back. Why is she procrastinating? Ignored advice is explained by embarrassing platitudes. Her progress has halted. She represents the dance student fearful of blossoming into the dance professional. Scared to fail, scared to succeed, she remains motionless in no man’s land.

Frequently we welcome those who have never danced. They seek artistic expression, a change of canvas. They seek refuge away from the unwavering monotony of the day job. But their awkward interpretation of timing, rhythm and music has an endearing charm of its own. It is quite refreshing to see dance that is unashamed of its own innocence, seeped in careless abandon. Their bumbling but sincere attempts to dance are watched with genuine fondness by all. At least none of us are quite that bad. But only a few of us are quite that confident.

Occasionally, the comfortable atmosphere in the studio, is disturbed by a new presence. We have been presented with an ability that makes everybody stop and stare. There is no doubt that she, confident and technically proficient will succeed. She is envied and admired (from a distance) by all. Her interpretation of every choreographic gesture is imbued with visual significance and physical power. She dominates every class. This person reminds everybody of the goal. Some are intimidated, some find renewed vigour; all are affected. This individual gives us all cause for reflection.


Coaching you to Centre Stage

Author's Bio: 

Judy John-Baptiste, has been the managing director of The Basement Dance studio in North London for over fifteen years. She studied dance formally at Trinity Laban Centre and gained a masters in Performance Art At Middlesex University. Her general education was completed at Surrey where she acquired a post graduate certificate of education . She has a diploma in professional life coaching.

I have worked as a dancer, teacher and choreographer . Managing the Studio for over 15 years has given me a wealth of experience in working with a wide range of personalities .This background has enriched my understanding of people. Running the studio has been an ideal learning ground for professional performance coaching .