The day I stopped counting fouettés
How many times did I feel disappointed when during the coda a dancer would pull off 29 fouettés instead of 32? How many videos on Instagram showing sequences of countless double and triple turns ending with a multiple spin did I save? How many times was I jealous of classmates turning more than 5 pirouettes when I was struggling to complete a clean double? Way too many.
I was so obsessed with all that turning and spinning that I started forgetting what dance was all about. Going to class every day became an awful and painful experience, since apart from beating myself up for not being able to do triples like anyone else, I was too distracted to be able to direct my energy into becoming the best artist I could be.
I suddenly witnessed myself watching less and less full-length performances and, instead, watch out-of-context sequences on Instagram of dancers practicing breath taking skills. Those clips, while being incredible and inspiring, made me forget the essence of dancing.
Remember what made you fall in love with ballet
As a kid, what made me want to pursue this career was the music, the rhythm and the joy of moving around freely.
I did not fall in love with dancing by watching a coda, I never dreamt of performing Kitri because of the impressive diagonal of turns in fifth and I never considered a professional dancer amazing only because they could perform an insane amount of pirouettes, but for their personality and everything else they were bringing on stage.
Since I came to that realisation, I started looking at dancers for the quality of their movements, their musicality, their interpretation and acting skills, the emotions they were expressing. That’s exactly what I enjoy the most about this art. And when a dancer lacks most of this: that’s when I look down at their feet and count turns and jumps.
Many things happened since the day I stopped counting fouettés: I found beauty in a simple port de bras, Odile was too captivating to allow me to count how many times she was turning around her axis, I watched Don Quixote just to laugh and have fun and I rediscovered the flame that made me want to become a dancer in the first place.