Begin At The Basics

I don’t know where the saying to “write what you know” originated from, but I decided to use it with my dance experiment. Day 1 of my dance experiment involved converting two Jazz steps into Achilles-tendon safe movements: the chasse and the pas de bourree. The what? you may be asking? They are french terms used both in Ballet and Jazz. Chasse means “to chase” and pas de bourree means “bourree step.” Both moves in Ballet and Jazz are incredibly similar and yet, very different. My conversion of these two steps mainly involved shortening the length of my steps in order for my heels to remain comfortably on the floor whilst limiting the stretch and pull on my Achilles tendon. If this all sounds like a foreign language to you, you can watch the YouTube videos I will soon be posting. Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. And in the case of dancing…well, that really is a visual art form.

The second thing I did was to improvise an entire dance completely on the floor. What danger is there to my Achilles tendons when I’m not even standing on them? By improvise, I mean I danced without any choreography. I didn’t plan out my moves in advance, just played the music and let it all go. When my good friend, whose been kind enough to be behind the camera filming my efforts, cried at the end of it, it reminded me of why I dance. Her response was the greatest gift to me. It’s about that emotional connection. It’s about sharing hearts. Am I speaking gibberish? Well, it makes sense to me.

Go to to view my YouTube video explaining my dance project, as well as demonstrating my new version of the chasse and pas de bourree. I apologize for the bad audio. I’m still trying to figure out this whole video thing.

Go to to view my YouTube video of my second try doing the improvised floor dance. The first try was more successful, but as it was filmed with my old cell phone, it didn’t make the upload onto YouTube successfully. Thus, the second, rather unsuccessful attempt.

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