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On the way to Paris 2024. Dance for better “fencing”

Part of the France collective during the contemporary dance class. (NOUTCHA)

Working on your technique in an assault session, your tactics through videos, your physique with weight training exercises evoke simple activities that are essential for progress. But dancing has everything of a more original activity to pass a course in our fencing practice.

The dance plays in the details. We re-learn how to move our carcass, to use all its length, its finesse, its framework and no longer simply its muscles already oversold by daily sporting activity.

The dance lessons of Christine Caradec, choreographic artist, always start in the same way: a self-massage of the feet to be able to better feel the ground and a long passage on the floor to untie our body. “Serpentinating” on the ground allows you to have an increased balance when going into a standing position.

Our dancer teaches us to breathe with the whole body and not just with our lungs. The word “center” often resonates during its sessions. The center is located at the belly, back and diaphragm. Breathing in our back and yawning during her class are two activities appreciated by Christine, because they are synonymous with a diaphragm that is released.

Through contemporary dance, I learned to come into contact with the bodies of my teammates, to understand their areas of tension, to touch them gently, without embarrassment or modesty. When we started, touching the feet of our compatriot, carrying her, massaging her head, feeling our bodies tangled on the ground, could disturb us. This inexperience and our beliefs tended to block us.

After four years of practice, what a joy to hear one of my colleagues ask me to untie a tension in training or in competition. We learn to live better together. If sometimes certain tensions are not expressed in words, the magic of the dancing body, which moves, allows to bring out a stress, a tiredness, a concern.

Such moments may seem strange to the uninitiated, but a poetry emerges from these dance sessions. The look of the other does not matter. We live the experience, we no longer try to recite it or control it.

It is very easy to draw a parallel between dance and fencing. Going to the end of a gesture, a movement without fear of the gaze of the other allows us to inhabit a larger, longer, more flexible body and can bring the few extra centimeters to carry the victorious attack .

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