Dance Quotes


Thousands of emotions well up inside me through out the day. They are released when I dance. *Abraham Lincoln*



There are three steps you have to complete to become a professional dancer: learn to dance, learn to perform, and learn how to cope with injuries. *D. Gere*
Ballet technique is arbitrary and very difficult. It never becomes easy--it becomes possible. The effort involved in making a dancer's body is so long and relentless, in many instances painful, the effort to maintain the technique so grueling that unless a certain satisfaction is derived from the disciplining and the punishing, the pace could not be maintained. *Agnes de Mille*
The most essential thing in dance discipline is devotion, the steadfast and willing devotion to the labor that makes the classwork not a gymnastic hour and a half, or at the lowest level, a daily drudgery, but a devotion that allows the classroom discipline to become moments of dancing too... *Merce Cunningham*
The next time you look into the mirror, just look at the way the ears rest next to the head; look at the way the hairline grows; think of all the little bones in your wrist. It is a miracle. And the dance is a celebration of that miracle. *Martha Graham*
Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired. *Martha Graham*
Dancing appears glamorous, easy, delightful. But the path to paradise of the achievement is not easier than any other. There is fatigue so great that the body cries, even in its sleep. There are times of complete frustration, there are daily small deaths. *Martha Graham*
Movement never lies. It is a barometer telling the state of the soul's weather to all who can read it. *Martha Graham*
Dancers today can do anything; the technique is phenomenal. The passion and the meaning to their movement can be another thing. *Martha Graham*
All I ever needed was the music and the mirror... A Chorus Line
It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. *Albert Einstein*
Everything is beautiful at the ballet... A Chorus Line
Dance is the only art in which we ourselves are the stuff of which it is made. *Ted Shawn*
Those move easiest who have learned to dance. *Alexander Pope*
Those who dance are thought mad by those who hear not the music. *Unknown*
If you want to dance seriously, do. You must think about it day and night, dream about it,--desire it. *Christa Justus*
Dance is the hidden language of the soul. *Martha Graham*
The physical language of the body is so much more powerful than words. *Bill Irwin*
Everyday there must be something I can't do, otherwise it's boring. *Monet Robier*
Great dancers are not great because of thier technique, they are great because of thier passion. *Unknown*
It takes an athlete to dance, but an artist to be a dancer. *Shanna LaFleur*
Dance, an Art Form
The Body, an Instrument
Learn To Play The Instrument
So You Can Master The Art Form.
--Attributed to Debbie Dee.
Learning to walk set you free. Learning to dance gives you the greatest freedom of all: to express with your whole self the person you are. *Melissa Hayden*
Dance like nobody's looking.
The trained dancer must not only have grace and elegance, but also the leap of an Olympic hurdler, the balance of a tight-rope walker and panther-like strength and agility. *Camilla Jessel*
Many of the simplest exercises become harder in the centre... *Camilla Jessel*
People tend to look at dancers like we are these little jewels, little cardboard cut-outs, and yet we have blood and guts and go through Hell. *Susan Jaffe*
To touch to move to inspire- this is the true gift of dance. *Aubrey Lynch*
Someone once said that dancers work just as hard as policemen, always alert, always tense, but see policemen don't have to be beautiful at the same time. *George Balanchine*
The dance is the mother of the arts. Music and poetry exist in time; painting and architecture in space. But the dance lives at once in time and space. *Curt Sachs*
The dancer, or dancers, must transform the stage for the audience as well as for themselves into an autonomous, complete, virtual realm, and all motions into a play of visible forces in unbroken, virtual time...Both space and time, as perceptible factors, disappear almost entirely in the dance illusion. *Susanne K. Langer*
It is difficult to see the great dance effects as they happen, to see them accurately, catch them fast in memory. It is even more difficult to verbalize them for critical discussion. The particular essence of a performance, its human sweep of articulate rhythm in space and in time has no specific terminology to describe it by. *Martha Graham*


It takes ten years, usually, to make a dancer. It takes ten years of handling the instrument, handling the material with which you are dealing, for you to know it completely. *Martha Graham*
There are likewise three kinds of dancers: first, those who consider dancing as a sort of gymnastic drill, made up of impersonal and graceful arabesques; second, those who, by concentrating their minds, lead the body into the rhythm of a desired emotion, expressing a remembered feeling or experience. And finally, there are those who convert the body into a luminous fluidity, surrendering it to the inspiration of the soul. *Isadora Duncan*
Dance in the most perishable of the arts. Ballets are forgotten, ballerinas retire, choreographers die--and what remains of that glorious production which so excited us a decade ago, a year ago, or even last night? *Jack Anderson*
Man must speak, then sing, then dance. The speaking is the brain, the thinking man. The singing is the emotion. The dancing is the Dionysian ecstasy which carries away all. *Isadora Duncan*
The dance exists exclusively in terms of the movement of the body, not only in the obvious sense that the dancer moves, but also in the less apparent sense that its response in the spectator is likewise a matter of body movement. *John Martin*
Dancing is a very living art. It is essentially of the moment, although a very old art. A dancerís art is lived while he is dancing. Nothing is left of his art except the pictures and the memories--when his dancing days are over. *Martha Graham*
Basic dance--and I should qualify the word basic--is primarily concerned with motion. So immediately you will say but the basketball player is concerned with motion. That is so--but he is not concerned with it primarily. His action is a means towards an end beyond motion. In basic dance the motion is its own end--that is, it is concerned with nothing beyond itself. *Alwin Nikolais*
The dance, just as the performance of the actor, is kinesthetic art, art of the muscle sense. The awareness of tension and relaxation within his own body, the sense of balance that distinguishes the proud stability of the vertical from the risky adventures of thrusting and falling--these are the tools of the dancer. *Rudolf Arnheim*
What is modern about modern dance is its resistance to the past, its response to the present, its constant redefining if the idea of dance. *Marcia B. Siegel*
Nothing so clearly and inevitably reveals the inner man than movement and gesture. It is quite possible, if one chooses, to conceal and dissimulate behind words or paintings or statues or other forms of human expression, but the moment you move you stand revealed, for good or ill, for what you are. *Doris Humphrey*
Dance today is clearly in an unsettled state. Old forms and traditions are being given up. New ones are arising to take their place. A time of change presents a confused picture. That there is change is proof that dance is organically vital--and much more so than it has ever before been in this country. *Margaret HíDoubler*
Dance, one of the oldest forms of artistic expression, requires only the human body for its realization. *Igor Youskevitch*
If one had to define one essential gift with which a dancer needs to be endowed, there might be a rush of answers. A beautiful body, grace of line, graciousness of spirit, joy in the work, ability to please, unswerving integrity, relentless ambition towards some abstract perfection. Certainly all these factors determine a dancerís character, and every element exists in some combination within the performing artistís presence. *Lincoln Kirstein*
So many dancers rely on some sort of magic happening on the stage. They never, for various reasons, work full out in rehearsal. Thatís very uncreative. They donít discover the kinds of things that add up to a remarkable performance. *Benjamin Harkarvy*
I would like to tell all dancers to forget themselves and the desire for self display. They must become completely absorbed in the dance. Even in a classical variation there should never be any thought of a dancer doing a variation--he should become identified with it. *Antony Tudor*
I will make an average man into an average dancer, provided he be passably well made. I will teach him how to move his arms and legs, to turn his head. I will give him steadiness, brilliancy and speed; but I cannot endow him with that fire and intelligence, those graces and that expression of feeling which is the soul of true pantomime. *Jean Georges Noverre*
It was Anna Pavlova, and no one else, who opened the world to ballet. It was she who did the back-breaking work of pioneering. It was Pavlova who found and cultivated audiences for contemporary ballet companies. Her service to ballet is priceless. No other single human being did more for ballet than she. To all the millions of people for whom she danced she brought little of herself...what remains of Pavlova today is not a movement in the art, not a tendency, not even a series of dances. It is something far less concrete, but possibly more valuable: inspiration. *Hilda Dutsova*
What is expressive in a dance is not the dancerís opinions, psychological, political, or moral. It isnít even what she thinks about episodes in her private life. What is expressive in dancing is the way she moves about the stage, the way she exhibits her body in motion. *Edwin Denby*
All dance has expression. If there is no expression, I prefer the circus. The performers do more dangerous, more difficult technical things than we do. But we are dancers. We have to express and we have to project. *Luis Fuente*
An art process in not essentially a natural process; it is an invented one. It can take actions of organization from the way nature functions, but essentially man invents the process. And from or for that process he derives a discipline to make and keep the process functioning. That discipline too is not a natural process. The daily discipline, the continued keeping of the elasticity of the muscles, the continued control of the mind over the bodyís actions, the constant hoped-for flow of the spirit into physical movement, both new and renewed, is not a natural way. It is unnatural in its demands on all the sources of energy. But the final synthesis can be a natural one, natural in the sense that the mind, body and spirit function as one. *Merce Cunningham*
The choreographer cannot deliberately make a ballet to appeal to an audience, he has to start from personal inspirations. He has to trust the ballet, to let it stand on its own strengths or fall on its weaknesses. If it reaches the audience, then he is lucky that round! *Gerald Arpino*
So many dances leave me untouched, unmoved. A dancer should be able to raise an arm and make someone cry--in the way Isadora Duncan did. It is a necessity for any art to move you. *Pauline Koner*
...I came to see that movement is one of the great laws of life. It is the primary medium of our aliveness, the flow of energy going on in us like a river all the time, awake or asleep, twenty-four hours a day. Our movement is our behavior; there is a direct connection between what we are like and how we move...As people begin to move in their own way, they are faced with feelings of surprise and delight and often of anxiety and embarrassment. Judgments, corrections and explanations are of no use. It is their movement, and it happened just that way. *Mary Whitehouse*
I would like to make it clear from the start that these dances are primarily meant to be a kind of food for the eye. If they evoke dramatic images and riddles, the key to their solution lies not so much in the brain, but in the senses and the eye of the spectator. *Paul Taylor*
I do everything I know how in a dance. *Twyla Tharp*
Iím very excited about dance and love it with a deep passion. I also struggle, tire and become discouraged. But what has always revived me...has been the rebirth of energy each time the creative process is awakened and artistic activity begins to unfold even in some infinitesimal measure. *Ann Halprin*
To dance is to challenge the body which is also the self. To generate an action which has a force of its own and allow the movement to penetrate the inner sensibilities, or to calculate the action and try to tune out--this is difficult, perhaps impossible. *Katherine Litz*
Dancing should look easy; like an optical illusion. It should seem effortless. When you do a difficult variation, the audience is aware that it is demanding and that you have the power and strength to do it. But in the end, when you take your bow, you should look as if you were saying, ĎOh, it was nothing. I could do it again.í *Bruce Marks*
One is born to be a dancer. No teacher can work miracles, nor will years of training make a good dancer of an untalented pupil. One may be able to acquire a certain technical facility, but no one can ever 'acquire an exceptional talent.' I have never prided myself on having an unusually gifted pupil. A Pavlova is no one's pupil but God's. *George Balanchine*

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