Hello my friends,
Call me irresponsible – if you will –
Because I was dancing so much, preparing to dance at the annual studio event earlier this month. Dance is life affirming and brings me joy. It also is a lot of hard work that’s never ending.
I try to inhabit my body fully and train at the gym for strength to support dancing. The biggest fight is inertia; a sense of passivity in the body that I almost don’t feel. It’s the old social dance pattern that I need to change, that of dancing with some parts but not the whole of me.
What I want and need is Whole Self Dancing, my entire self to moving in opposing directions, torso expanding, head releasing upward, legs into the floor. Action and reaction with the whole self.
I aim for it. I think of connecting my feet to the energy in my legs and legs in turn connecting to my body that has a spine. I try to let my legs release while my spine aims upward, letting my body “blossom like a flower,” as my teacher says, opening and upward** while my legs release underneath. If that wasn’t enough and lest I forget, it’s all supposed to be swinging under my head which is free at the end of my pointy little spine.
I can think about various simultaneously moving parts but at some level I need not to think of the parts. Alexander Technique helps me there; creating conditions in my body for freedom of the parts within the organization of the whole self.
I was playing on the dance floor the other day, dancing Foxtrot with beautiful Rumba music playing, just flowing with the music. Such a feeling of freedom and vulnerability came over me, opening my heart, my whole self. I let myself move and express with the music flowing through all of me, expanding my reach, my line, in all directions. This was not correct dancing but it was the most incredible, exquisite moment of letting go…stretching my boundaries, touching more with my Whole Self, allowing myself to move.
A few weeks ago I was without a partner, so I took class with one of the young, up and coming dancers. He’s just 18, tall, strong, and moves like a fast running river.
I learned pretty quickly that whatever I’d thought meant using my legs well, was a lie. I was in my comfort zone and not using myself fully.
I chided myself sternly, “he has legs and he uses them. You have legs, too; use them!” I had to get past real trepidation that they’d break under me and trust that they’d work.
So I did! And in that moment was consciousness but not linear thinking.
I move faster when a lion is chasing me
Or a tall, agile dance partner with boundless energy moving through.
Let go. Let legs. And dance.
Whole Self Dancing…a journey.
P.S. Please join my blog and follow along. I will send you an 8 minute audio guide to train your body for ease. It’s free.
** Thinking about the body opening like a flower, reminds me of this poem by e.e. cummings
here’s to opening and upward, to leaf and to sap
and to your(in my arms flowering so new)
self whose eyes smell of the sound of rain
and here’s to silent certainly mountains;and to
a disappearing poet of always,snow
and to morning;and to morning’s beautiful friend
twilight(and a first dream called ocean)and
let must or if be damned with whomever’s afraid
down with ought with because with every brain
which thinks it thinks,nor dares to feel(but up
with joy;and up with laughing and drunkenness)
here’s to one undiscoverable guess
of whose mad skill each world of blood is made
(whose fatal songs are moving in the moon