Make It Feel Good

This is a dance-loving blog, visited by lovely dance-loving readers, so any time I have a chance to tie the world of Wilfairiana to ideas of movement I take it. Wait, I don't take it: I leap toward the chance, pirouetting high in the air, and then gently cradle it in my arms, as I lower to the stage, ballerina-style, disappearing into the pink tulle of my tutu and a dramatic bow.

Ahem. Moving on.

My dance teachers often repeat the same suggestions or words of encouragement in class, and they're words we can all apply to our lives. And, yes, it is my birthday week, so I'm in the frame of mind where I'm applying inspiration and hope and forward-thinking, in liberal amounts, to the year ahead.

Here's what my teachers say:

1. Make It Feel Good. The short of it? If you're going to do a stretch or a move, make it feel good, don't just be like "eh, okay, whatever, that's done." Really go deep into it, make it "yummy" (in my teacher's words), and be cognizant of its benefit and beauty.

It's easy to apply this one to life: If we're going to do something, anything, we should make it feel good.

I include the boring or desultory parts of life in this sentiment, like waiting in lines. Nope, waiting to mail a package for twenty minutes is not going to feel as good as enjoying a glass of wine with a friend, but how can it at least be a little better, a little more productive, a little cheerier? Maybe reading a book while I wait or plotting a story or drinking a coffee would help.

And, nope, "making it feel good" isn't a selfish idea; not at all. It isn't about being self-focused. It can also be about helping others and being a kind person, and making "it" -- whatever the task at hand is -- feel good for everybody involved.

2. Be Positive, Be Present. Obviously self-explanatory. It's an important one for dance, too, because not being present can lead to landing wrong and possible injury. Again, very applicable to life at large.

A secret: The more present and engaged I find myself in dance class, the more ideas for the books shimmy into my brain. It's like math, almost: a totally dependable outcome. The foggy window from "Redwoodian" popped into my head during dance class. So did about forty other things in the series. Not all of the ideas I get are gold, of course, oh no. Nope. But dance tends to be an idea-maker for this lady.

Dear Science. Hi, how are you? Please tell me how the interconnection of physical movement, being present, and the getting of ideas happens. I'm curious. Thank you. Love, Alysia.

3. Grow Longer in Every Direction. Again, no follow-up is needed, as it might apply to daily life, but the "every" part is what I need to focus upon. I do just fine with the directions I repeatedly go in -- I'm pretty long in about three or four of them -- but I could work on growing longer in several other areas, for sure.

That's it. Just a few nice thoughts for your day. I hope you can take one or two with you, but, if not, I hope you've been shaking your stuff and/or groove thing, regularly, since the last dance post.

So. Remember the museum in "Wilfair" -- Monty, Gomery, and Fair go there near the middle of the book and stare at a painting? Here's a troupe performing in that museum's forecourt.

I just know Fair and Sutton are sitting somewhere behind the camera, watching and loving it. DRAMA.


Kelly said...

Excellent advice for life and for dance! And watching the dancers at the museum was a lovely way to start the day!

I used to do a ton of dance classes, but recently the closest I've come is watching all the dance shows on TV and yelling at the screen while pretending to be an expert judge. This post has made me all itchy-footed to find a new class though.

Kelly said...

Oh and Happy Birthday! I hope that casa Painter is full of cake and cocktails and sparkly things this week!

do dah said...

dance! yay! i bet you can find some truly interesting dance classes in la. and happy birthday!

basically unrelated, except that it may involve dance because that's what musicals do, but the wilfairverse needs to know about this: they're making "anne of green gables, the musical" into a movie. this actually terrifies me, because nothing can beat the original, but...

Wilfair Book said...

Kelly, remind me: What's your dance specialty?

Playing dance judge, by the way, is loads of fun, so keep at it.

And thanks for the birthday wishes! I've been enjoying my birthday mess -- ripped-open envelopes from cards and crumbled wrapping paper and a wilting bouquet -- so much that I left it out all week. Today is the day, though, it must be tidied up.

do dah: Yes, my burlesque-y bud, so come out to LA and dance with me in one of those interesting classes!

I KNOW! Anne as a musical! I actually learned this from Caitlin #1. My ladies keep me well-looped.

We'll see, you know? I'll watch it.

Kelly said...

Oh I don't have a specialty, as I was never particularly adept at any one kind of dance, but I love it all. I've taken classes in steet, jazz, commercial, latin and ballroom, a bit of everything really.

SO excited for the anne of green gables musical! I feel like that of project always ends up being either amazing, or car-crash terrible, which means I will enjoy it regardless

Wilfair Book said...

Kelly: I'm impressed with the variety of classes you've covered! I see I have some catching up to do. Ballroom is something I'd love to try, maybe just for the dramatic stares/poses.

I like your attitude about whether something is amazing or awful. Pretty much anything will get a watch from me, at least once, but it has to elicit some sort of strong reaction, you know?

Okay. Drowsy, so I hope this comment isn't completely daft! And I really want to post your hat pic soon, so if there's anything else fun to share with that, send it my way. You know I'm greedy for interesting fashion-y photos of my ladies.

Kelly said...

The dramatic posing and fierce face-giving is totally the best part of ballroom!

I've actually been on a bit of a jewelry shopping spree recently, so if you want more accessories pics I can send you some over!

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