Monday, September 14, 2009

When It's Good to be Forgetful

WIP charcoal for tap dancing series
Stacy Rowan

Sometimes in tap class when I am learning a new combination there seems to be a roadblock between my brain and my feet. The teacher demonstrates the series of steps and I know what I am supposed to do, but somehow my feet don't get the full message and they do something different. Let's say the correct steps are shuffle hop knock heel flap ball change. Not a difficult combination, but my feet might do shuffle hop heel knock... freeze... because I realize I did something wrong. I've talked to other tap dancers and I know I'm not the only one this happens to.

I've noticed that occasionally this happens when I am drawing too. I can picture the drawing in my mind's eye, but my hands create something that doesn't seem to match the image in my head. So I check all the angles and measurements and faithfully make any changes...still not right. Most times I have to leave that area of the drawing and come back to it later to get it worked out properly. In that time the roadblock clears and the problem is normally fixed with some minute change.

I've decided that the difficulty learning the tap combination comes from muscle memory overriding the knowledge of the proper steps. If I had a previous teacher who always put a heel after a shuffle hop, my muscles hold the memory of that combination. It can be a tough memory to overcome.

I'm not sure where the drawing difficulty comes from. My guess would be that it has something to do with drawing what I think I see versus what I am actually seeing. The memory my mind has of the symbol for whatever I am drawing overrides what I am actually seeing. My new series makes me feel like my mind has a very strong memory of its shoe symbol.

Luckily the mind eventually gets the hand to draw the object correctly, just like it always brings the feet along when dancing. It just might take longer than I like.


Jennifer Rose said...

it def has to do with what your mind thinks you are drawing, rather then what you are actually drawing, at least that is what the teachers at college keep saying lol

bluelilac said...

Stacy have you ever read Drawing From The Left Side of the Brain?
I may have the title wrong.
Just have to ask.

Stacy said...

Jennifer, at least I'm onto something. Now if I could just stop doing it!!

Blue, I have read that book. It was in fact the first art book I worked from and one of the reasons I spin my board all around while working. :)