Breathe, one step at a time.

Inhale, exhale. . . Inhale, exhale. . . Inhale, exhale. . . Inhale, exhale.

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Naturally our body breathes.  We do it subconsciously and automatically.  Breathing is a necessity for function, life, and pure survival.  Breathing is something that thankfully happens without having to think about it (thank you Autonomic Nervous System), but what about if we turn the ON switch to full blast and exaggerate our breath? Simply, what if dancers consciously were more aware of how each breathe relates to their movement (sharp – slow – full)?  Specifically, coinciding each inhale and exhale with the movement that is demanded from our body.  Would this exaggeration of thought benefit us? Could it potentially increase the life expectancy of our careers? Maybe so!  Or simply, just make us enjoy it more?

The simplicity of the idea of breathing has been a thought in my own mind, as my own anxiety has been turned up a notch.  Tomorrow, I enter the beautiful Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts to take on the first day of tech week for Kansas City Ballet’s opening season.  It’s a challenging, diverse, demanding, yet viscerally exciting opening as we brace the stage with Jerome Robbin’s, Fancy Free; Balanchine’s Allegro Brilliant; Jody Gate’s premiere of Keep Me Wishing in the Dark; William Whitener’s Triple Play; and new Artistic Director, Devon Carney’s, world premiere of Opus 1.  I’ll be wearing the principal costume of Allegro, a 40’s get up in Fancy Free, a tutu in Opus and my favorite color dress (green) in Jody’s.  It’s a dreamlike repertoire for me, but yet, a challenging one to say the least. Which brings me back to my point!  J U S T   B R E A T H E.

What are the benefits of breathing and why is it crucial to emphasize while dancing? Perhaps it provides for deeper movement, continuity of movement, meaningful value to each step, deeper range of motion, proper flow, fatigue fighters (increased intake of oxygen), and a form of injury prevention.  But most importantly, it provides for “A WAY,” of dancing.  An enjoyment of movement.  A fulfilling quality that is enduring to oneself, which in the end will be enduring to the audience. Let’s hope, anyway!

So continue the push of breathing, and take one step at a time.  Merde to you all!

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15 thoughts on “Breathe, one step at a time.

  1. Merde Jill! An inspiring article! I am sure a lot of dancers can relate and should soothe their soles to remind them to just breathe 😊

  2. This is a good one! I am constantly reminded to breathe by my dance teacher. I sometimes even HOLD my breath when completing a difficult move! I need to relax and exhale…….

  3. Lovely words, Jill! I often realize how little I breathe when I dance…I’m sure things would be so much more enjoyable if I took the time to really inhale and exhale fully. I will definitely be thinking of this post at work tomorrow. Thanks for the inspiration and beautiful photo, too!

  4. Merde for a beautiful run of what sounds like an incredible program!!! So important to remember to breath and enjoy…. Thanks for sharing Jill, go get ’em!

  5. A couple of posts ago I started blogging about the benefits of cathargic breathing. In my opinion, it’s probably a relief for a dancer to breathe accordingly to her movements and positions. Good luck DanceHealthier!

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