Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dance as Mental Exercise

It appears that I've answered all the questions anyone has about the Enchanted, Inc. series, so I guess that's it for that feature, unless questions come up. And I am not saying that in a passive-aggressive "nobody loves me, so I'll sit over here in the corner until someone begs me to come back" sense. I'm merely stating a fact that no questions have been asked, so I am drawing the conclusion that I have answered everything that anyone cares to know, for the time being. I can't even think of any random factoid to share today, so maybe I have said everything that needs to be said.

I took two dance classes last night, so my body is mad at me and my brain is tired. The jazz class is mostly learning choreography, so it works like a mental exercise, and unlike ballet, there aren't a lot of standard moves we practice over and over again so that when it comes time to put them together in choreography, it's merely a case of putting puzzle pieces together. Jazz does use a lot of moves and steps from ballet, as well as some unique to jazz and some the teacher makes up on the fly, but the class isn't structured to teach and repeat those usual moves, so learning the dance involves both learning the moves and putting them together, and then remembering it all and doing it at the tempo that goes with the music. Supposedly, ballet is good "anti-aging" work because it strengthens all the muscles needed for balance and works on balance, which lessens the chances of falling and breaking a hip when you get older (the leading cause of death in the elderly -- since complications like blood clots and pneumonia tend to follow broken hips). Then jazz must be good for keeping the brain going and working on the brain-body connection. It's just the immediate aftereffects that are rough. By tonight, I may be barely mobile.

One of the books I have backburnered involves a dancer. I wonder if that means I can write off the dance classes as a research expense. Forget all those sword-wielding urban fantasy heroines. If you want to find someone who can really kick ass, find someone who has survived years of ballet training. You'll get leg muscles to die for and an impressive tolerance for pain.

As a Doctor Who fan, I would be remiss not to note the passing of Elisabeth Sladen, our lovely Sarah Jane Smith. When I was younger, I saw Sarah Jane as a role model because she was a universe-trotting journalist. When she returned through the revival of the series and then went on into her own spinoff series, I still saw her as a role model as an independent single woman whose life wasn't awful because she never found a husband. Do you know how rare that is in entertainment? I think when I get home from choir tonight I'll have to re-watch "School Reunion" in tribute.

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