Sunday, November 14, 2010

two words: willie. hinton.

"you have to know your craft...that's what it's about. you have to love it."

Today I took a master class with one of the best teachers I've ever had the experience of having - Willie Hinton. He is a teacher at Richmond Ballet, and I had him as a teacher while I was there last summer. I briefly mentioned him a few times in my blog entries while I was there, but I don't think I talked about him enough for you guys to understand why he's such a great teacher. First, let me describe him. He's a muscular, average-height, fierce, and fabulous black man that goes for it. He graduated from North Carolina School of the Arts. Who can blame him? He's 41 (don't tell him I told you guys...), but he doesn't like a day over 24. And he tells us it's because he does hundreds of abwork every single day. It totally shows because he's so toned!
His classes are intense and focus on the atheleticism that all dancers should have. The ability to have stamina + grace at the same time. He constantly talks about how, as dancers, our job is to make what we do look easy. And that is what makes a great dancer. A subject he brought up today was the dancing in New York. He talked about how small the studios are, what kind of classes there are available to take, but most importantly, he emphasized what the atmosphere is like in those studios. And I was standing there thinking about my experience in NYC this summer - the best summer of my life. Indescribable and unforgettable. Nothing will ever make me forget how I fell in love with everything that I went through this summer, and when Willie was talking about it, I couldn't help but have a nostalgic feeling...

I miss New York. I probably talk about it at least once everyday. How there is always this feeling that you can do anything. How walking through the streets gives you an instant confidence boost. How walking into those dance studios means more than just taking a class - it's a chance to learn, grow, and thrive on passion of dancing. I'm so hungry for art and life. And they're not two different things to me. I eat, breathe, and live art, and that's how it should be. And I got the best of that world in New York. I surely miss it...

Willie's class today left me extremely sweaty as well as reminiscent of New York. And I know that I'll be feeling his entire class in my entire body tomorrow morning. I think this calls for an ice bath...

xobria

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