The "Rules"

If you are new to the studio or to my teaching via an online course or group or if you've experienced my teaching methods hundreds of times, I think it's important to review the basics about this practice -- the underlying philosophies that hold it all together and the "rules" or boundaries or foundational structures (whichever works for you) that keeps it from turning into yet another "should" or attempt at perfection or (insert your own demon here).

First and foremost, this is your individual practice.  There is no room here for comparison -- with other dancers and movers or even with your own self from day to day, year to year. You can only dance YOUR dance in THIS moment.

There is no right or wrong, no one way. There are no emotions or feelings that are not welcomed into this space or considered "bad" or "good." Everything just is what it is. Period.

This is how naturally dance and mindfulness work together: when we are deeply engaged with the physical body, paying attention to our breath and waiting for movement to come to us (rather than chasing after it), there is no room for brain to be wandering around in the past or the future. All there is is the present when you are dancing with your whole self.

Second, I cannot say enough times that this practice originates with the breath. Everything should start with the breath. No movement until the breath. Breathing deeply, consciously, we await the body's signal or impulse. We wait past the nervousness of waiting. We wait past the idea that everything has to start RIGHT NOW or on the first beat.

(Do you see all the beautiful metaphors here? How this completely correlates to a life well lived with intention?)

For example: I have witnessed students so deeply immersed in the breath that there was barely any "dancing" happening, and yet, they were dancing more genuinely than the person flying around the room. (Though, of course, intention and breath can also lead to flying!) Furthermore, this is why this practice is for any BODY, because as long as you can still breathe, there is still dance within you, and others may not be able to see it, but that does not mean it's not there.

Which all brings me to something super big time important...

Third, my suggestions and ideas are just that! They are ONLY suggestions and ideas!  At any time, no matter how you are "taking a class" with any time, if you feel a strong impulse to do something completely different, then you MUST.

You are responsible for your experience! So take responsibility.

You are in charge. So take charge.

Furthermore, the suggestions tend to be about the physical body, but the point is to apply the breath and attention and awareness to the physical. My focus is on the compartmentalized segments and the possible precision of the physical body as the metaphorical terrain of spirit and soul. (Read that again; it's UBER important.)

From day to day, month to month, things change, and some of that work may feel like too much for you for whatever reason. The deeper you are practicing dance as a spiritual path, the more you will respect your freedom to say NO to a particular idea or find a way to explore it that works for you. 

(None of this is ever about age so make sure to let go of that IMMEDIATELY. I have 80 somethings who explore dance on the floor and 30 somethings who can't.)

Finally, these physical experiments (as I like to call them) are not an end in and of themselves (though in some ways they are...excuse all the contradiction). The point of the physical experiments is self-observation and witness. How/what are you feeling? Is this bringing up resistance? Can you move with or against the resistance? What stories are you attaching to the overall experience.

Above all, PLAY. Find joy in the process and let it all hang out!