I have been dancing just as long as I have been talking. Dance to me is the communication of the spirit. It is the natural rhythm to life and relationships, and to a deeper connection to the self. The dance I choose to explore is one that acknowledges equality, and the give and take, or push and pull, of forces. When I dance, it is not about my body but about the life force. It is about the dynamic origins of energy and the awakening of the spirit to the body. I have decided to include this in my blog because I had such a profound experience recently at my dance class.
Rewinding back a little…. For a period of time in my life I pursued dance as a career. I had a passion for dance, and I wanted to just go with it. And so, like most keen professionals, I focused my mind on perfecting technique. Completely ego driven, I wanted to master the art form. Big mistake, HUGE! It afforded me many years of pain and suffering since the mind does not conquer, but fools ourselves into thinking that we are in control.
Many people would ask me, why don’t you teach dance? Not having felt what I needed to at that time, deep down I realize that I was afraid to teach, for fear of running into that ego place. Movement, when trying to control by achieving a technique, line, or image, is in fact extremely limiting. Not only does it limit your ability to let go, but it can also serve as a negative voice that you are not good enough, and so you have to work harder….
And so I shied away from what could have been… I shied away from my passion and love for movement and expression. Until I was finally given permission to believe and to see. The art of dance is not in the technique or control of movement, but in the release of that movement, the letting go, and taking a chance. And so, I put the forces to the test. What is…the opposite theory – of being absolutely grounded and relaxed while allowing the spirit to fly…. To feel the spaces opening between the joints instead of contracting… To feel the spine melt from a block of ice to liquid…. The feet anchoring deep to the earth and feeling the coolness below… and then…the spirit flying to connect – without knowing – to the endless energy of origins and to meet some others there.
All of these metaphors fill my being while I dance, and I forget about technique. To me, this is letting go. And so, when I traveled across the floor doing grand-jetées, I thought to myself I am a bird flying high and will stay in the air. I don’t want to touch the ground right now because I don’t have to… Those few seconds will be an eternity in some other dimension.
As a landed my last jeté I wanted to share with my dance partner who was jeté-ing across the floor with me what I had just experienced. When I turned to look at her, we both said at the exact, and I mean exactly same time, ‘I felt like I was flying!’
I felt like I was teaching without even teaching. We are together in so many aspects in life that teaching is no more than believing…and believing is the first step to seeing…