I took ballet class for many years. It was – and still is – a passion of mine. Although now, I just watch from my seat at the Met.
There’s something that happens in class when you’re learning a combination: we call it “marking.” You’ll see dancers at the back of the studio, using their hands to “do” the steps, or walking through it with minimal effort before its their turn to perform it.
Marking is a way to get the piece in your head before you hit the center and do it “full out.” Dancers will hold back a little ahead of the performance, putting all their technique, energy and artistry into the big moment.
Here’s my favorite ballerina, Diana Vishneva, “marking” some variations. Isn’t she awesome? I have a girl-crush.
Anyway, some choreographers aren’t a fan of “marking” in rehearsal. George Balanchine would famously tell his ballerinas, “What are you saving it for, honey?”
That’s a good question for all of us.
One of my friends is planning on moving to a new apartment. After years of living in a tiny studio, she wants to upgrade to a larger place, which will mean needing more furniture. Her mother is telling her not to spend the money because she might be moving again someday. Someday. Someday.
In the meantime, in the here and now, my friend is being encouraged to stay in a cramped, bare-bones place that makes her sad. Because ….someday.
You could say my friend is “marking” her life. She’s not going full out, saving her dreams for some future day.
All of us have gotten this message at some point. We hold back. We don’t fully embrace the things that might make us happy, mainly for reasons that are fear-based.
Take a look at this Tarot card:
The guy is happily moving off a cliff, into the unknown. The little dog nipping at his heels represents those things that get in our heads: “Watch out!” “Don’t do it!” “It will never work!” “Don’t take any risks!”
But our guy is trusting that whatever happens in the next few steps, he’ll be supported by the Universe. He may not know what’s coming – he may be nervous and wanting to stay in his comfort zone – but he’s choosing to go full out with his life.
So whether it comes to choosing a better relationship for yourself, or just stating what you really want for lunch, ask yourself:
“What are you saving it for, honey?”
If I can help you sort out what’s holding you back, get in touch.