The Dancers and The Nerve (Part 2)

“Don’t say, “Yes!”
Just take my hand and dance with me”

~  Oriah Mountain Dreamer – The Dance ~

Leap

I will now turn my focus to “the dancers who had all the nerve”, and what it really means:

“Oh, when you were young,
did you question all the answers?
Did you envy all the dancers who had all the nerve?
Look around you now,
you must go for what you wanted
look at all my friends who did and got what they deserved.

So much time to make up everywhere you turn
time we have wasted on the way;
So much water moving underneath the bridge
let the water come and carry us away.

So much love to make up everywhere you turn
love we have wasted on the way;
So much water moving underneath the bridge
let the water come and carry us away
let the water come and carry us away.”

Wasted on the Way – Crosby, Stills & Nash
(words & music by Graham Nash)

The only way to know what is there is to find out.  We have seen in our lives dancers who have done amazing things (and I’m not talking about those who throw down a few drinks and act a fool on the club dance floor, although that takes nerve too!!).  To some degree, there is an innate ability that allows a person to learn how to excel and perform those amazing feats, but we are not born with the muscle memory that allows someone to throw themselves in the air and land successfully…all to the timing of music.
That is the nerve part.

Think about someone who takes a running leap and allows themselves to be caught by their partner.  Think about the first time that happens.  There is very little likelihood of success that first time.  What allows the person to take that first leap so they can learn to do it successfully?  I think the answer, the nerve part, is through letting go of the outcome in advance so they can focus on the action and not the result.  By focusing on the action, the “now”, they are able through repetition to train their muscles to respond in the right way to successfully complete the leap.
That is the athletic part.

But sometimes, the most beautiful part of a dance is not from the wildly explosive part, but from a single well-timed step.
That is the artistry part.

It comes from learning to trust their partner, and to learn to read their subtle cues so the timing can be just right.  No one is psychic.  No one can read the mind of another to know when to leap. And no one can see the future to know how each leap will turn out.
That is the true meaning of nerve.

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