Feb 122012

Following the current Rock Town Hall questions and poll about my alleged knowledge of “illegal choreography,” I had a surprise visit from an interesting duo. A man and a woman appeared at my door. At first, I thought they may be solicitors, but upon closer look, I noticed some unusual things. They were dressed in black, although the woman also wore a touch of light pink. The man wore a tailored short jacket, but instead of pants had on very tight, lightweight leggings and soft leather boots. The woman wore a wrap sweater, a long chiffon skirt and slippers. It was when I noticed that she had her hair in a tight bun, and that both had darkly drawn eyebrows, false eyelashes and rouged cheeks that I realized that something was very, very wrong… These people were not visiting members of Roxy Music but instead had come to tell me that I had inadvertently broken one of the Ten Commandments of Dance.

Following is a copy of document that they shared with me. I am permitted to share it with you so that you don’t make the same mistake as I.

The Ten Commandments of Dance

  1. Thou Shalt Not learn and copy the choreography of particular choreographers who remain nameless because if thou name them that could be a problem, unless thou referest to the combination of steps as: “in the style of…” “…-esque” “a la ….” If thou actually perform this combination of dance moves, thou may feel immediately joyous but shalt be struck down or at least feel exceedingly guilty.
  2. Thou Shalt Not take fewer than five dance classes a week. Otherwise, thou are not giving thyself sufficiently to Thine Art.
  3. Thou Shalt Not be an adult dancer in a class of teenagers, adult being defined as greater than 2x the age of the youngest dancer. Breaking this commandment forces thou to confront Commandment # 7.
  4. Thou Shalt Not attempt to have any semblance of a hair style as thy hair will be back in a bun all the time anyways.
  5. Thou Shalt Not allow thy face to belie that the choreography is excruciatingly difficult. Even if thou art sweating. A lot.
  6. Thou Shalt Not throw away any pair of previously worn toe shoes. Thou may use up a closet storing them or give them to thy husband to use as things to draw for his still life class.
  7. Thou Shalt Not look at oneself in any of the mirrors that line a dance studio’s walls. To do so would indicate thou art a novice or adult dancer.
  8. Thou Shalt Not aspire to perform in a music video.
  9. Thou Shalt Not weight the costume choices of a dance thou are performing as being more important than the choreography itself. Even if the wardrobe consists of a white unitard.
  10. Thou Shalt Not complain when thy body aches or is injured. However, thou may refer to thy number of former surgeries, or thine needed intake of Advil or Alleve.

Have you broken any of the Ten Commandments of Dance? Are there a corresponding Ten Commandments of Music? Have you broken any of them? What was the punishment?


  2 Responses to “The Ten Commandments of Dance”

  1. In rock terms I realize that #4 applies to me because no matter how good I get my hair for a given performance it’s a sweaty mess 2 songs into the set.

  2. I had to laugh when reading the Ten Commandments of Dance. I started ballet at the age of four. It freaked me out a bit because the studio required little girls to wear black leotards and pink ballet slippers and tights. Our hair was to be worn in a bun, (but I had a pixie cut so that point was moot), Besides, I was still stuck on pink tights. No self-respecting Tom Boy should ever wear pink tights, even if she does kinda like ballet, especially the barre.(Accordingly, I became a modern dancer). To this day, I credit this early experience with influencing what was to become my personal style aesthetic–a woman can never have too many pairs of blue jeans or too many black leotards. In my adult life, this translated to a wardrobe dominated by black even when not in class or rehearsal (guess I should have been a New Yorker)!

    I would add one commandment to the list:

    11. In personal relationships, avoid other dancers like the plague–somebody has to make money!

    Thanks for the laugh!

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