Sober musician rider.
Sober musician rider.
I noticed your last post and I was just wondering... What is it exactly that stops you from doing that? Slamming down a whole bunch of ciders or even just one? What is the catalyst for wanting to be sober. I have been following your blog and I guess that I have an idea as to why but just wanted to ask.
Sober, and then what? Answer:
The reason for stopping is because I can’t stop at just one. As a result this effects my work life, my relationships and it wreaks havoc on my mental health.
What stops me from slamming down drinks? The fact I’ve stopped and started a few times means that I now know how bad it gets and how bad it feels… So, knowing that I never want to go there again is strength enough to not reach for the bottle.
Going Through the Motions Improves Dance Performance
July 23, 2013 — Expert ballet dancers seem to glide effortlessly across the stage, but learning the steps is both physically and mentally demanding. New research suggests that dance marking — loosely practicing a routine by “going through the motions” — may improve the quality of dance performance by reducing the mental strain needed to perfect the movements.
The new findings, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggest that marking may alleviate the conflict between the cognitive and physical aspects of dance practice, allowing dancers to memorize and repeat steps more fluidly.
Researcher Edward Warburton, a former professional ballet dancer, and colleagues were interested in exploring the “thinking behind the doing of dance.”
"It is widely assumed that the purpose of marking is to conserve energy," explains Warburton, professor of dance at the University of California, Santa Cruz. "But elite-level dance is not only physically demanding, it’s cognitively demanding as well:
Learning and rehearsing a dance piece requires concentration on many aspects of the desired performance.”
Marking essentially involves a run-through of the dance routine, but with a focus on the routine itself, rather than making the perfect movements.
"When marking, the dancer often does not leave the floor, and may even substitute hand gestures for movements," Warburton explains. "One common example is using a finger rotation to represent a turn while not actually turning the whole body."
To investigate how marking influences performance, the researchers asked a group of talented dance students to learn two routines: they were asked to practice one routine at performance speed and to practice the other one by marking.
The routines were relatively simple, designed to be learned quickly and to minimize mistakes. Yet differences emerged when the judges looked for quality of performance.
Across many of the different techniques and steps, the dancers were judged more highly on the routine that they had practiced with marking — their movements on the marked routine appeared to be more seamless, their sequences more fluid.
The researchers surmise that practicing at performance speed didn’t allow the dancers to memorize and consolidate the steps as a sequence, thus encumbering their performance.
"By reducing the demands on complex control of the body, marking may reduce the multi-layered cognitive load used when learning choreography," Warburton explains.
While marking is often thought of as a necessary evil — allowing dancers a “break” from dancing full out — the large effect sizes observed in the study suggest that it could make a noticeable difference in a dancer’s performance:
"Marking could be strategically used by teachers and choreographers to enhance memory and integration of multiple aspects of a piece precisely at those times when dancers are working to master the most demanding material," says Warburton.
It’s unclear whether these performance improvements would be seen for other types of dance, Warburton cautions, but it is possible that this area of research could extend to other kinds of activities, perhaps even language acquisition.
"Smaller scale movement systems with low energetic costs such as speech, sign language, and gestures may likewise accrue cognitive benefits, as might be the case in learning new multisyllabic vocabulary or working on one’s accent in a foreign language."
I like flicking back through things like my Instagram account just to see what I’ve done over the past few years, how I’ve gone from fat to thin to fat to thin, friends, fun activities, pets, lovers etc. and I can’t help but feel the same sort of empty feeling that I get when I look at my bank account after years of drinking. Although, this is a strange feeling as I look back and see the really fun stuff and amazing people I’ve done the fun stuff with and I can’t help but think how I wish I had enjoyed it more.
A lot of my memories are bordering on non-existent, I have trouble remembering a lot of the wonderful things I’ve experienced because I was fucking pissed all the time.
I know I have certainly come a very long way from where I was 6-12-18 months ago but now that I have made these choices and put things into action, will I look back on these times and ask myself the same question?
Hopefully I will remember these sober times far more vividly than the not sober times. Perhaps it’s a mental block that has just decided to blank out everything from between the ages of 13-23 so that I don’t have to remember the bad. Maybe blocking out the bad also means blocking out the good, the fond memories and the like.
I don’t know, that’s why I have a psychologist.