George Balanchine said: “I don’t want people who Want to dance, I want people who Have to dance.” Please, stop, go back to what he said, read it again and think for moment. This seemingly simple phrase might relate to you more than you imagine. Yes, to you. You don’t have to be a ballet dancer or any dance professional for that matter.
Who is George Balanchine, might you ask? He is one of the most famous choreographers of the 20th century, a co-founder of New York City Ballet, and its ballet-master for over 35 years. You can find out more about him (and his many marriages, if it matters) at the end of this post.
So, why what he said could be important for you? Let’s see. Are you one of quite a few folks that as some point or another in our life decided to “stop by” a dance studio (aka, took some dance classes) and then quit? If so, then I really want you to take a close look inside yourself again, as it relates to dancing. Ask yourself – Why you enrolled in dance classes in the first place.
Was it ‘just because’, out of sheer curiosity, because a friend of yours dragged you in there, was it on a bet? Or was there something Else? Something more important, more meaningful, more pressing, urgent, something truly exciting? Maybe it was because you…Had to dance?
Some people do have this feeling, yet it is not quite a clear one. They are not certain they Have to dance. When they are not certain, they do not completely trust themselves take that plunge, to set out on a journey to pursue that feeling, that hidden desire. Which is unfortunate, as they remain unfulfilled in their lives.
Most group classes are not focused on discovering that feeling in people. They just teach steps, Rumba steps, Cha-Cha steps, Waltz steps, etc. Those instructors are not trained to go deeper, they can’t present and explain to their students what a real dance is, that steps are just a fancy overlay on what a dance is at its core – a rhythmic movement to music…
Plus, discovering is only the first step. Then someone has to nurture it, develop it, strengthen and advance that discovery. Only then people who had that feeling in the first place begin to get a real satisfaction of this wonderful activity – as I like to put it, one of the oldest activities known to mankind – Dancing.
So there. Take that. And run with it. Or dance, if you can. And if you can’t yet, let me know, and I’ll show you “how deep the rabbit hole goes”. All you need to do is start taking dance lessons in Atlanta with me…
P.S. If interested, here is more on George Balanchine.