Form and Formless

Today I ask myself: how does dance help me live more gently? In some ways I’d rather not try to explain it. It is so beautiful I don’t want to ruin it with charts and diagrams.  Sacred things may be best left across the bridge from words. But also, I can speak a few things. 

I always have the words of purging, cleansing, release that come when dancing.  Burning things up in the fire of the sweat, the hit into the floor, the slicing of air.  It’s through the cycle of a dance that I exit with relief, with the sense of arriving back to my gentle presence.  The journey can start out slow or faster paced when I enter the dance depending on my energy of the day.  But soon I start digging in, consumed by the beats and song that sync with my vibrations, letting my body ride the wave of the room, the people if it’s a group, the music, the musician, the altar of intention alchemizing the air particles.  

Is there a preparation, are there tools that help me take my body and mind through this experience, this meditation, this exorcism? For me, there seems to be.  We prepare our minds for the journey as one would before walking across burning coals. We choose what we want to wear based on how we are feeling and make sure we’ve eaten and drank appropriately.  We set intention and we enter the dance. We mentally choose to be moved by whatever arises, while of course keeping sensitive to others who may be in the room, and also to our own safety.  When we decide we feel safe enough, we may close our eyes and let the body move without telling it who to be or what to do.  We open our heart.

But still….what else resides in the movement vocabulary, the pedagogy that helps move emotions out of the deep recesses to exit the skin? I have a movement toolbox that seems to arrive in the same way breath arises.  There was a time I was drilled on foundations of movement and was introduced to movement as therapy that guide my current path of discovery and healing.  I recognize that I use these practices while I dance, they have a vital role in catalyzing expression, helping me live alongside my mind and arriving into the present now, again and again and again.  

Can I share my toolbox with you? What are your tools?  

As I continue to excavate these tools, I also hope to learn more from those around me.  I see the importance in viewing the journey as teacher more as sharing than being the knower.  So stay tuned as MovementLab and EarthLab 33 bring more offerings for creative sharing, learning and living.  See you in the dance, in the perpetual classroom and sacred space.

photo by Katie Graves, dancers Lyndsae Rinio and Nadine Lollino PosterchildArt