I thought dancing was about sweating and breathing hard: hands on knees after a long and complicated sequence of movements, or a melt to the ground to rest and recuperate after spinning and leaping, catching and falling.
That’s what I’ve known and loved for many many moons, and yet it isn’t what I’m following these days.
Even if I try to make that happen, I can’t seem to find it right now.
Even when I’m pulled into a current of sweat and breath and balance, I step out at some point to follow my weight instead, bringing myself back down and into gravity.
WHAT IS HAPPENING?
I thought I was one way, and now I’m another.
I thought I understood, and now I don’t.
I thought I inhabited this human form with a set of rules and expectations when it came to dancing and yet…this isn’t so.
I can’t seem to settle and rest, until I do.
And when I do — rest — I become curious about the body in space, carving through earth and air, as others also carve, draw, push through, and emerge.
I’m a mistake maker.
I make mistakes multiple times throughout each day: small ones that nobody notices but me, bigger ones that get a side glance from time to time, and then the gigantic ones, where I have to clean up the mess I’ve made.
Is this one of those mistakes?
Have I made a mistake by turning my attention to the interior when I dance?
Have I made a mistake by opting out — at least for now — on the bigger, grander, more understandable way of dancing?
Have I made a mistake by not working harder, longer, faster?
Sometimes my mind does that thing where it wraps around itself.
When that happens, I can’t find the quiet of what I know.
I search and grab and search and grab, and then the dancing is flat and mundane, no matter how big, or how fast, or how strong.
But when I come up and out for air, I can feel it: The outside is the same as the inside when the inside is given the time to slow down.
Then it doesn’t matter if it is a spin or a fall, a roll or a jump, a balance on one leg, or a crumple to the ground.
It’s all coming from the same place: the body as animal — sniffing around, scratching at the earth, digging a hole, running through the woods, being still, and burrowing in.
Your dance mission for the week is to do just that:
And burrow in.
Dog Dance is happening this Friday Joanna.
There’s a workshop called “Learning Dog Dance” the very next day.
Let me know if you are interested in joining me for one or either of these weekend events, and I’ll send you all the info.