I would like to begin with a small apology. (Although, I am sure good blogging practices encourage you to never begin a post with regret.) However. Men, I feel as if I have been leaving you out a bit. Please know it has not been my intention. I have been brainstorming topics that I want to share with you, issues that would be specifically helpful to you. Carrying you long into the future. Information that will apply no matter where life takes you. Now do not feel offended by anything I am about to say. I am going with “honesty is the best policy” on this one. You will thank me later!
Be A Forever Gentleman
Teaching a man to dance is one thing. Teaching a man to be a gentleman is quite another. There exists no room in ballet for the nonsensical, and overly used I might add, expression “boys will be boys.” Learning to become a gentleman can start at any age. And what better place to establish such behavior than in the ballet studio. The foundation for flawless technique is mastering the basics. The foundation for becoming a gentleman is rooted within two words: attentiveness and awareness. Grasp the concept of these two words. Understand their true meaning. Once you do, gentlemanly actions and behaviors will begin to flow from you mimicking the fluidity of a perfectly executed adagio.
Holding a door open for fellow students and teachers is not open for discussion. It is a must! The use of foul language is not only unacceptable but emits an unattractiveness. Does your studio work with portable barres? Offer to set them up and carry them away when not in use. Ladies first is not old-fashioned. Allow them to dance first in groups for center work and across the floor. Partnering? A good partner is not such unless he is a gentleman. Take responsibility. Participate in constructive communication only. Admit when you are wrong. Fix it. Remember it. And improve upon it. Please, no blame games. Ask your partner if she is comfortable. Concern yourself with how you can better assist her. Respect her body. Master this and you will receive the very same in return. Trust me! Attentiveness. Awareness. The basis for becoming a true gentleman.
Hygiene Should Be Routine
It is no one’s desire to be judged like the cover of a book. So to that I say, do not give anyone a reason to judge! I am talking hygiene here. Just as you would not present a subpar version of yourself on stage, don’t do so in everyday life either. Maybe you think to yourself, “Oh, no one will notice I forgot to brush my teeth.” “Gosh, this t-shirt used to be white!” Or, “I don’t need deodorant. I showered … yesterday.” Guess what. We notice! Take pride in yourself. Always aim to look your best and, dare I say, smell your best. And when you do, your confidence will shoot through the roof. Walking taller. Shining brighter. Dancing bigger and better than ever before.
Be Smart. Exude Hunger.
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. Translated very easily into today’s speak: You can be given an opportunity but you cannot be forced to do it unless you yourself want it. Yes, you are being taught how to dance. But the one who is smart and learns to teach himself will get the part. The job. The promotion. Gone are the days when you are awarded a scholarship or land a contract just for being a highly sought after male in a world where females are more than abundant.
Build upon the information your teacher has given you. Perseverance. Nothing is going to be handed to you. True hunger requires steadfastness. A drive that can only be found within. And, gentlemen, while you are waiting for those ladies to go first, know, think and plan. Don’t just stare into space. Memorize the combination. Think about how you will approach the steps. Plan your movement quality. You have the power to utilize the tools you have been given and turn that into greatness!