It’s interesting to me how in some ways learning to dance is similar to learning to play an instrument,yet in some ways it’s also very different. They’re similar because they both involve timing and rhythm, yet different because while in music you learn to use your instrument to produce art, in dance your body is the instrument. A musician can make a mistake and play the wrong tune while a dance who makes a mistake can wind up on the floor!
I’ve had a lot more experience in my life with being a musician than with dance. I played the violin for a couple years beginning in fourth grade, but unfortunately due to peer pressure I quit in middle school. For over a decade I didn’t really give any thought to making art.
I decided to learn to play the guitar about a year before I started ballet. In fact, if it wasn’t for my guitar class I don’t think I would have ever taken the plunge to try ballet. I took guitar class at the same community college as I’ve been taking ballet. This was back in early 2012 when I went back to school and, since everything that I needed to take was full, the counselors recommended that I take anything that was open and available so I could start earning units and get a higher priority for registration. The guitar class was open, and I figured it would be fun, so I signed up. Even though I had very little experience with guitar playing and was one of the least skilled players in the class, the teacher was so nice, patient and understanding that I had a great time. This gave me the false belief that any performing arts teacher at the college would be just as helpful and understanding. But regardless, due to the great experience I had in this class I worked up the courage to try ballet class a few semesters later.
Once I started doing ballet, I sort of put guitar playing on hold. It was overwhelming to have two time-consuming hobbies that I was relatively new at going on at the same time! And even though my ballet learning curve has not been as quick to rise as I would like, I love how ballet engages your whole body, while playing an instrument is more concentrated on specific part of the body.
But a few months ago, I decided that I wanted to make time to have both hobbies. I realized that if I had been practicing playing the guitar daily, even if only for 15 or 20 minutes, I would have probably seen a lot of improvement by now. My mind is doing a good job of remembering what to do, but my hands become tired quickly. I realized that just as I practice ballet not only to improve but to keep up my strenght, I need to practice guitar regularly so I can not lose the strenght in my hands.
I wish I could say that I now practice guitar playing daily, but that would be a lie. I have been good about practicing at least a few times per week, so I’m making my way there slowly at least.
This is not my guitar, but it looks exactly like it. Oh, and I just uploaded my first picture ever to a blog post! Hurray for me!!!