I have called what I offer Shapeshift Dance, evocative of movement, change & nature's mystery.
Dance is a call to stay open, ultimately to life. Through movement we are invited into the fluid, mutable, flowing aspect of who we are. Life sometimes suggests….or demands of us that we grow, stretch, bend & let go, in ways we may not have foreseen. As we move on the dance floor we are both reflecting life & practicing for life.
Yet amidst the focus on movement & transformation, there is something that is eternal and unchanging in us, something that is steady. Dancing as a listening & awareness practice strengthens & clarifies us in essence and we become more rooted in who we are.
Important to me in what I offer is the acknowledgement that we are human animals, part of a community of interconnected human & non-human species. As we practice listening to & expressing our natural physicality through dance and movement, we grow in our sense of embodiment & our compassionate connection to ourselves, others & the wider, wilder community. Movement is an antidote to the numbing effect of too much domestication and reminds us of our place in the family of all things.
Dance & movement in essence are positive, fun & life affirming activities. I like it that we are unlikely to stay serious for too long when engaged in dance. For sure there is a depth & a profound healing impact when we engage in dance as an awareness practice & this is such a gift. There is also great scope for lightness, humour & not getting too caught in the dark places of being human. After all, when we dance we are on the move, literally shapeshifting, changing moment to moment, gesture to gesture, breath to breath. Fundamentally dance is nourishing, social & health improving. It is an opportunity to process & ‘dance out’ the difficult stuff & ultimately move towards well-being, balance, connection & presence.
'Dancers are the athletes of God.'—Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
'Dancers are the messengers of the gods' Martha Graham (1894-1991)
When we dance…when we really dance, we may touch a place of reverence & love, wordless, unconditional, beyond who we think we are, timeless.... I call it the mystery.
The chat room of the mind falls away, the hiding, showing off, the not good enough, the best/worst, all the ‘I wants’ & the ‘they did’ or ‘didn’t do’s’, the endless cycle of human hurt. It falls away. There is no effort, no doing, simply awareness, we have become one with the mystery, one with the dance and there is a sense of being danced…& yet at the same time we are aware of our feet on the ground & the ordinary extraordinariness of being human.
Once we come to this place we do not need words or guidance or rules.
As Gabrielle Roth once said:
"There is no dogma in the dance. It will never betray you. All you have to do is dance till there’s nothing left of you but breath… Gabrielle Roth (1941-2012)