“Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you don’t get it wrong”
Bharatanatyam is hard. Period. The limbs hurt and sweat runs. Nobody will dispute that. In order to attain perfection one has to work hard. There is no way around it. For dancers, it is a challenging road with many hurdles along the way. This rigorous path pays dividends when the dancer steps on stage with her colorful costume, dazzling jewelry and a beautiful smile.
But it’s not just practicing hard-its practicing smart. Not just the dancers but their warm up regimes are unique! Each body requires a different exercise regime and diet. Building up stamina is easier said than done. Days of hard practice followed by nights of massaging sore spots are still fresh in my memory. So why do you dance then? The sheer joy of connecting mentally with what you are dancing wipes away any pain and the sheer beauty of the dance form erases unpleasant memories while building stamina.
“Is warm up really necessary? I just ran to my practice session from my work. Doesn’t that count?”. The answer- NO. If only that was sufficient for us dancers! It is imperative to loosen and warm up the muscles that will bear the brunt of rigorous sarukkals, soaring pakka adavus or the sprightly kuditha mettadavus. The damage done to our body is quite extensive if precautions are not undertaken earlier. Taking just a few minutes to help those joints and muscles will go a long way in allowing you to enjoy a fabulous art form!
Keep calm and do a stretch!