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Musings

Dance

I’m not sure if I’ve ever really felt comfortable in my adult body. I’ve consistently muted my physical expression out of fear of judgment. The few times I’ve been in situations where I couldn’t avoid dancing, I’ve felt tremendous awkwardness and shame.

Lately through meditation and by consulting with my guides, I’ve felt called to start exploring moving my body as a way of celebrating my aliveness. Last week I had an incredibly powerful dream of dancing with a partner that felt so liberating that I woke with tremendous energy and excitement! It was a fun change to be awoken with aliveness rather than fear/anxiety!

I think one of the biggest barriers to my exploring physical movement has been thinking that I didn’t “know how”. Part of me would prefer to remain closed than have to open through the unknowingness. In my dream, I’m fairly sure I was doing the tango, but I certainly have never tangoed before, so I didn’t know where to begin!

When I talked to my sister about it, she reminded me of an experience I shared with her from my experience at Rythmia. As part of the program, the week ends with the “Dance of Liberation”. I kid you not that when I first saw that on the program, I planned to skip the class! But I’m so glad I went because the experience was as profound as any of the other ceremonies of the week.

Everyone is blindfolded, and then you are prompted to just let the music move your body. No steps to learn, just flowing with the music. Beautiful healing music that we’d been listening to throughout the week was pumped throughout the huge space, and we were allowed to just move how we wanted. At first, I felt awkward and constricted (based on the nervous laughter around me I don’t think I was the only one!), but as I relaxed and felt the energy of the music, I was able to let go and just really move for the first time in my life. It started to feel very tribal as everyone released their fear and started really moving.

It felt so incredibly powerful and soul fulfilling to me to dance in this free spirited way. About midway through the ceremony, I was really getting into the beat and jumping to the beat. To my surprise, the floor itself gave way as I landed – I had broken a hole in the thick plywood floor! It felt like something out of karate kid!

That night as I was returning from dinner, I passed by the maloca and saw there was a team of a half dozen guys repairing the floor I unintentionally damaged. While I felt bad about unintentionally causing so much trouble, as someone who has lived my life not taking up space, it felt powerful to see the impact of my movement.

When Jamie reminded me of this experience that filled me up with so much aliveness and power, suggesting that I should seek out a similar format in my exploration around dance, it clicked. So I joined an online subscription at Open Floor Dance and signed up for a class.

Today was my first experience post-Rythmia with free movement dance. I felt very nervous about it, but I’m so proud of myself for showing up with my bravery and making it happen.

The class was over zoom, led by an instructor playing great music, and it was such a wonderful experience to be in my own backyard in the sun enjoying my own aliveness in the present moment.

I look forward to expanding more in this form of creative expression. If my story inspires you to challenge yourself in this way, check them out at openfloordance.org. If you have experience with this type of practice, I’d love to be inspired by your journey!

I look forward to dancing with you!

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