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Why Dragon Boating and Singing are good together

This video is from our second race in Salem. I'm in the green vest in the very last row.
During practice Sunday I started thinking about Malcolm Gladwell's book Blink. The book talks about how when people reach an expert level at something they approach it differently when approached with a problem. It's because they know what information to discard, what's relevant and what's not. I think once you've reached an expert level at something (for me it's singing), you start to really understand how to analyze new things that you try and how to latch on to what you already know.

That said I've been trying to find parallels in the technicality and physicality of boating that relate to what I know already and so far I have a pretty good list going.

Here's what I got so far.

Dragon Boating Singing
Requires controlled breathing Requires controlled breathing
Has you engage core strength to rotate and pull the paddle Has you release your core and engage it again to control breathing
Coach yells at you if your face gets tense Voice teacher yells at you if your face gets tense
Has multiple physical and technical elements that all have to work together for maximum efficiency (posture, rotation, blade angle, specific muscles engaged and disengaged, arm position) Has multiple elements that have to work together for maximum efficiency (posture, placement, resonance, breathing, expressivity)
Requires time and practice to perfect. Requires time and practice to perfect.
Must be in perfect sync with your teammates by keeping time with the paddler in front of you. (in choir) Must be in perfect sync with fellow singers by keeping time with the conductor in front of you.
Is ten times more difficult if you use the wrong muscles and technique. Is more difficult and unpleasant with the wrong muscles and technique.

These are just some of the comparisons I can think of right now. At any rate, I find myself thinking about these things every time I'm out on the water. If I can teach people to sing, I can get good at paddling! 


  1. dude, you fucking dominated that other boat!

    Rock on Bethany!


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