Watching your performance on DVD can be scary …

Picked up the DVD from our performance of Billy the Kid today.

As has been the case with my other performances on DVD, I was almost scared to watch.

Why? Dating back to watching my first performance in the Nutcracker a few years ago, the first time I popped in that DVD. all I saw were the flaws. It usually takes me two or three times of watching to actually catch the good things.

But I’ve tried not to be as much of a self-critic when I watch DVDs now from my performances (although there are still moments when I want to cringe a little). My assessment of my performance of Billy the Kid?

Actually, not as bad as I was expecting (I mean as in compared to professional dance bad, I felt good about each performance when it was over). My movements in the opening dance weren’t as pronounced as I’d prefer, my arabesque leg wasn’t as high on the piques, but overall, my line was good, I was on time with the music. So I was OK with what I saw.

Really, you can pick up a lot of useful things to use the next time you go on stage. One of the things I learned from the DVD of my first Nutcracker was to be more in character during the party scene, and that has helped me since.

In Billy the Kid, it showed me one thing I normally do during the first few Nutcracker performances during Nutcracker week. When I’m a little nervous, I tend to tone things down, play things a little safer … no screwups and I’m good. Of course, we have seven Nutcracker performances, so we’re just getting started when we’re doing No. 3. We only had three performances for Billy the Kid.

I need to dance with more confidence, be a little bolder. Those are things I intend to work on during summer classes.

And speaking of summer classes, the first week is in the books, and it was the usual, unpredictable week.

Today’s class was a bit like Monday’s. Susan K. taught. And there were few of us, maybe seven or eight. A lot of teaching moments, and I was a bit more sluggish than usual.

Wednesday, on the other hand, was a big surprise. There were maybe 15 of us, most either company or ex-company. And Mr. O. taught us (he leaves for Texas next week). It was an amazingly cardio, kick me in the arse kind of class (among my favorite kind of classes). In that short little studio, we did long petite allegro combinations that changed directions. I held my own, which was pretty cool (today, on the other hand, left a lot to be desired).

He issued a challenge to me. He told me he couldn’t retire until my double pirouettes become consistent. That’s something to work on.

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8 responses to “Watching your performance on DVD can be scary …

  • The Dancing Rider

    Video is a great tool. Good for you for being less critical, seeing where you want to improve, but acknowledging the good things. And the overall of being ok with it.

    Sounds like a great class.

  • RO

    I also have a video from last year’s performance and it actually helped me to improve some of the things that I saw (and didn’t like). So yeah it can be confronting but it’s useful too! 🙂

  • The Dancing Rider

    By the way, I would love to see you dance! I just posted a new blog entry, because I was inspired by what you said here, and remembered how I felt about my last video — and where those feelings took me! 🙂

  • thriftshoptalk

    When I saw the video of my last ice skating program, that’s when I decided to hang up my skates! Unlike you, I saw nothing positive about my program except that my dress looked lovely! 😦 I’ve matured in my self-assessment skills since then (thanks to horseback riding) and feel as though I will approach ballet with a healthier mindset. I really enjoyed reading your post!

  • Kim

    Video is tough on the ego, but it definitely helps in the long run. I’ve been trying to use it more myself.

  • Dance Pundit.

    I know exactly how you feel. I don’t mind watching myself in group dances, but when it comes to solos, all I think about is what I could have done better so I avoid them altogether. I should definitely start using them as a learning tool.

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