And to continue...IDEA --> NO IDEA
I've found that "left brain"/"right brain"and "conscious"/"subconscious" qualities or activities are best not viewed as competing polarities, but as aspects of a complex mechanism that harmoniously uses apparently opposing components toward a practical, creative end. It's not one or the other but both
. For example, it's not "technique" vs. "just dance", but both working constructively together in a way that is appropriate for the learner. And one great way to summarize how they work together in that mechanism is "IDEA --> NO IDEA".
This approach requires consciously using both left & right brain, conscious mind & subconscious mind, to 1) create a clear and accurate IDEA of what one wants to achieve, and then 2) release that idea, without judgment or emotional/ego interference, to a state of NO IDEA, where there is expectation that the "mechanism" will "go and manifest that IDEA". This taps into the massive creative potential of the brain-slash-human consciousness. Continuing to "use the mechanism" and confidently alternate "IDEA --> NO IDEA --> IDEA --> NO IDEA --> IDEA --> NO IDEA" is what allows the "quantal" shift to occur and become REAL. In any area of life.
However, you have to have the right IDEA to begin with, and that can be a tricky business to identify what it should be so that we aren't tying ourselves up in knots or even working at cross-purposes against what we desire as the end product. How to get the right IDEA?
For a dancer, the idea may be a technique concept, it might be an image, an evocative word or phrase, an exercise, a drill idea intended to give an experience of something or to build toward the capacity
for an experience. This is where the power of technique comes in...it factors in with having the right IDEA.
And if you don't know what the right IDEA is for you in your unique circumstances (for example, if you want to be a World Champion but have never been one, then how do you know what a World Champion feels like, and how to achieve that feeling?...as DF's dancepro put it in the original thread)...then it makes sense to allow someone who DOES know the "right" idea to be your source.
In that case, a "master" can give the IDEA, with the student trusting & suspending disbelief with NO IDEA ("giving up the ego" and choosing not to judge the idea as right or wrong), and this enables Ye Old Reptilian Brain to accept and give access to the subconscious to run wild with making whatever shifts are necessary to make the idea REAL. In the meantime, the student must keep maintaining the IDEA --> NO IDEA rhythm and not sabotage it with egoic hissy fits, resistances & panics, judging that "it's not happening fast enough" or "I'll never get this I'm such an idiot", etc. The arc that one is endeavoring to make REAL might be larger than the timeline we think in our little conscious minds suits us best. It requires FAITH and the ability to straddle paradox and be comfortable with a lack of control as to when & how the IDEA will show up.But what if...
The responsibility for the dancer in the above approach is to purposefully identify the right IDEA(s) -- get an instructor who has them, if you don't -- and then faithfully act on that idea with the blankness of NO IDEA so that the idea has a place to show up in REAL experience. But...what about when there isn't an instructor who has the right idea that you need? What if there isn't an external source you can turn to for an accurate diagnosis of what ails you and what its correlating "cure" should be?
This is the challenge of us older or late-starting dancers. IME it is rare for an instructor to have the wherewithal to give the IDEAs I've needed to puzzle out my biggest challenges, which have been physical limitations. They just don't know, they haven't been exposed to (and overcome) these particular challenges, and their "vehicles" have tended to work without the impinging limitations that accrue over time in an older body. Master teachers are great for ballroom-related IDEAs, but may be effectively worthless (to not mince words...) when it comes to what an older dancer needs. In fact, trying to implement an instructor's best IDEAs could, for an older dancer, actually lead to significant injury & frustration.
This line of thought is the entry to a lot of consideration & experimentation in my own dance journey, so I thought I'd share...and see where it goes in this thread.