Have you got poise? Would you be able to explain it if you had? There is something a little elusive about poise, but a great ballet teacher, like the team at Jade Harrison School of Dance works with their students to develop poise and other dance skills to make them beautiful confident dancers.
What is Poise?
Poise is something you hear mentioned a lot, especially in ballet. It is defined as that state of balance between ease and effort but in busy lives full of emotionally draining and physically exhausting activities, it can seem a hard thing to find.
Here are some great tips on developing and maintaining poise in your dancing:
- The importance of showing up!
One of the first steps to creating poise is simply to show up to your ballet lessons with enthusiasm and openness to learning new skills.
A dancer's life is immersed in showing up, no matter what. We get a lot of practice “facing the music” both in literal and figurative terms. When you show up regardless of personal resistance, something wonderful happens! This habit increases your internal confidence and self-assurance, which is a crucial part of creating poise.
- Being fully present in what you do
The next component of poise is being fully present to the event, the moment, the experience or whatever else is going on. In other words, this entails pausing to concentrate and acknowledge tension, tiredness, energy, and effort. This may also be defined as emotions such as anxiety, self-doubt, excitement, depression, happiness, or desire.
Taking stock of your current physical and mental condition helps you devote yourself well and wisely, as does quiet mental talk.
- Follow through with your choices
The last component of poise is to move with both thought and commitment.
Unlike automatic responses that punctuate daily life, each ballet step is a chain of little judgments: how far, how fast, and how much force to apply are all deliberate decisions.
Follow-through is so important for this. It is key to avoid overthinking things, judging them, and simply getting on with it. Dancers know that the surest way to a misstep or an injury is to second-guess what you are doing as you do it.
Things don't always go to plan but what you learn from forming an intention and following up on it will help shape future actions and build that poise you so desire.
Poise and ballet
There's no doubt that the act of learning and practising ballet teaches us many things and poise is one of them. This comes more as a side effect from the good practices learned as part of dance training but is one that can help with many other aspects of life.
So next time you face a challenge, remember the steps to create poise and be better prepared to deal with it.