Back to the subject!

So quickly I get sucked into the vortex! Given that I joked Thursday about Zopa preferring the stage rather than rehearsal, this morning inspiration to journal about practice vs. actual performance, class vs. trialing, swim practice vs. competition invaded my thoughts. Looking for an appropriate quote to accompany this weekend exploration I came upon this by Martha Graham:

“I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each, it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one’s being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes, in some area, an athlete of god. Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.”

The images for this renown woman reshaped American dance. She danced and choreographed for over seventy years and lived to the age of 96. The Graham technique continues to be taught worldwide. So many stunning images – including photos of her by Edward Steichen – but I’m choosing this one…

Martha Graham
Just this week The Washington Post published This is Your Brain on Art. The new scientific field of neuroaesthetics is probing the relationship between the brain and art.
brainonart
I have this weekend to simply explore areas of interest with no destination in mind…and love that dance and photography were presented to me. I recognized Edward Steichen’s work (go me) and even did a self-portrait based on a photo of his.
Edward Steichen_14
Of course, I cannot find that photo! Lame!
Back to the subject! Practice vs. actual performance, class vs. trialing, swim practice vs. competition. In spite of our awesome clean runs last weekend, class was much the same. Neither Edie nor Zopa ran the sequences with the brilliance revealed last weekend. I didn’t either. 😉 It would have been fun if that happened, but it didn’t…and as I think about it that would defeat the purpose of learning.
Some time ago I set the goal of actually finishing a course with Goose. That was it. Finish. Finish the course. I upped the ante on the goal, again some time ago. When I make a mistake or my plan doesn’t work, tweak it while on course and continue to the finish. Lucky for me Goose is game to keep playing, even when my plan is confusing to him. He will keep working for cookies. 🙂 Not so with my dogs.
I could plan our runs for success and the thrill of finishing without a hitch. Well, mostly finishing without a hitch. To do that doesn’t push implementing what I’m learning. So, that’s not what I’ve been doing the past few months. Class is for learning and practice. It’s not about an actual performance, a trial or a competition. A trial is where you put together all you’ve learned.
To repeat Martha…“I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each, it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one’s being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes, in some area, an athlete of god. Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.”
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