This year has been about opening my perspectives to new ways of thinking and doing. This has been occurring in my teaching- by examining the “truths” within our heritage of dance training, as well as personally- by taking risks and celebrating what I have come to learn about myself.
A few things in particular have been worth noting:
The love you take is equal to the love you make.
My immediate family, and our joys and successes, are dependent upon my marriage. My husband and I are celebrating our 10th year of marriage all year. We are taking care of ourselves as individuals but also paying attention to the functions and joys of our relationship.
Don’t box me in.
Professionally and artistically, I think I finally understand that very little is pure anymore and it is ok. I have previously acknowledged that I need balance to push me forward- we all do- but I am now understanding in a more complex way that dance is not an island. While I have been teaching in an integrated style for some time (integrating subject areas, fusing ideas, class structures, styles, etc.) I feel “freed” enough to really talk about what I do in broader terms. Dance has filtered my life experiences, not just my movement or academic experiences, and it is ok- even great- to acknowledge this. And with this recent push to study “creativity” in all fields, it might even now be marketable to do so. We’ll see how that goes.
Frankly, I need to leave some dance traditions behind. The more places I explore, the more people I meet, the more problems I try solving lead me to new methods, new applications, and new outcomes. My standard approach for many years was to reteach much of the material I received in ways similar to the ways I had been taught. I thought that since I had good training, it would be good enough for my students. And it isn’t that that training isn’t good enough- but it doesn’t prepare students for their future, it prepares them for my current place. It doesn’t add up. So now I am more closely examining the rules and choosing which to follow and which to set aside.
Retooling the old model.
With help from Ann, Jessica, and Dana at Bikram Yoga Capital Area, I am reconnecting with my old self- the self dedicated to movement and moving with dedication; the self that leaves the studio sopping wet and standing taller with a calm mind, calm pulse, calm perspective; the self with new body goals, new technical goals, new strategies for achieving goals, and new focus.
Much of my understanding of the world stems from my experiences “in the body”. Having this time and experience of reconnecting with my body in an intense, yet supportive way- one that celebrates wellness of mind and body, and where the awareness of where one’s limitations are an observation and not an insult- has been rejuvenating, even emotional. It has been a much needed release, to say the least. I feel prepared mentally, physically, and emotionally to be moving again- as an artist and not just a teacher. I am so thankful for the renewal of that inspiration.
So, let’s dance.