dance

My Emotional Rescue - The Power Of Music & Movement

Photo by Blue Muse Fine Art CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

Photo by Blue Muse Fine Art CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

My first time, I remember it well. The lights were low, the room was quite - less some heavy breathing on my part. It had been an annoying day at work and I just wanted everything and everyone to disappear. Tonight needed to be all about me. I distinctly remember being in a funk that I was sure would last for days and decided on the spot to not worry about pointed toes or smooth movement or tricks or balance...and then the music came on. That night by letting go of "perfection" and not giving a shit, I had the perfect dance. While I couldn't tell you who was in the room or what I was wearing I remember with all clarity the emotions, the music and the dance. It's ironic because while it felt great for me I thought it probably looked like crap for everyone else. As my teacher screamed "SHIT that's your song - never seen that from you before!" I realized apparently my letting go resonated across the board.

From that moment on I became obsessed with music and movement. While I recognize the beauty in "perfection" I also recognize the beauty in different emotions. I realize I like to get angry and wild and sad and happy and stunted and loose and free and large and full and small and dirty. In realizing what moves me isn't always perfect or clean, my definition of "dance" has become less narrow.

Numerous studies show a strong coloration between emotions and movement. The word emotion stems from the Latin "emovere" which means "to move out". De Rivera’s A Structural Theory of Emotions suggests "When we examine individual f.t motions they reveal different types of movement and these different types suggest that an emotion is not an isolated entity, but rather part of a system that governs object relations..." (De Rivera, 1977 p.12). Our emotional experiences reflect our relation to the world and life around us.

What moves you? Which emotions does your body want or rather need to express?

I would love for you to share your first time with me. The first time you REALLY felt your dance, the first time you were completely out of your head and fully in your heart, the first time you truly felt the emotionality of movement.

Love & Glitter,

*various forms and styles of movement that I love!

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Dance - Getting Down On The Floor To Learn How To Fly!

One day I was sitting around the studio trying to think of class ideas that would compliment aerial & bring more cardio into our lives, lord knows I need more cardio. I started poking around YouTube and it hit me - I secretly want to dance. Just dance.

[youtube=://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SMmL6kIx-w&w=854&h=480]

 

And not "pole dancing" with out the pole (which is admittedly fun), not in the air in a hammock (which I love), not spinning in a hoop, or wrapped up in silks, I want to embrace some contemporary dance, some modern, maybe throw up a jazz hand or two, dance on the floor - on the ground.

Just dance.

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This actually seems to be a theme among a lot of my friends lately. Maybe it's all the competitions or the need to push our selves to extremes? Maybe with our busy lives we just need a release from our hectic days or training schedules, maybe we need an excuse to buy more leg warmers, maybe we need to learn to incorporate other forms of dance into our aerial routines? Who knows, but the drive is there and it's strong. I can't remember the last time I went out dancing for the hell of it and I'm pretty sure I used to love it.

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”   ~Friedrich Nietzsche

 

So we rolled around the floor, we leapt, we spun, we got sweaty, we giggled at how much we were out of our element, we became invigorated and acted like giddy children.

And we just danced!

Sometimes you just need to get down on the floor to learn how to fly!

Why not challenge yourself to take a break, get off all of the apparatuses & just dance, however that dance might look for you.

[youtube=://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpVfF4U75B8&w=854&h=480]

You Spin Me Round...my love/hate relationship with spinning pole

Okay I'll admit it...I was a pole "snob".  I was that girl. I mean come on spinning pole wasn't really pole dancing - it was CHEATING!  That is until I saw a video that really struck a chord with me, that and I actually bothered to put my pole into spin mode, promptly flew off, slammed violently into my wall and realized crap IT IS REALLY HARD! Why do we sometimes treat spinning pole as cheating? It takes a lot of core strength and control to invert on a spinning pole. Truth be told spinning pole memorizes me. It reminds me of the perfect, dainty music box I had as a child with the spinning ballerina on it. There is an ethereal feeling to spinning pole.

While I love watching it, I just can't seem to bring myself to switch that pin to spin mode. I'm sure the nausea doesn't help. But lately I find myself using the excuse "I'm old and I know what I like, I know what I enjoy" when it comes to trying new things such as food, clothing, music, freestyle vs choreographed pole dancing, static vs spin - "I don't need to try trap I don't like it" etc.  Is it the older we get, the more set in our ways we become? Am I being lazy or am I just afraid to try and fail? OH MY GOD have I become "that" old person? I'm not really sure but I do know I could probably use some professional help.

The great thing about where I live there is a lot of professional help. The nice thing about living in LA is that if you toss a rock out a window you are bound to hit a great pole studio. Allure Dance And Fitness Studio has a cool spinning pole class that I really need to get to (actually I took it once - I'm a wuss and spiny intimidates me, but I'm going back), taught by the fabulous Mina Mortezaie (2010 USPDF Amateur Champion). If you're in LA you should check out the class and make me go with you!

In the end I guess I realize that I don't want to be static, I need to move, to grow and yes maybe even to spin.

It might have a lot to do with Pachelbel's Canon in D but here is the first spinning video I ever saw years ago and it really made me think about the beauty of spinning pole.

[youtube=://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ini-qLYsLYA&w=640&h=480]

And some more of my favorite dancers performing spinning pole - enjoy!

Aerial Amy - Someone I call my friend and have watched grow over the years. She is always pushing and challenging herself within respect to her dance.

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Erika Rodgers...always unique!

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the weight of things...

This is a combo of an old post of mine and new thoughts but it still rings true for me and so many other women...First of all please know I am not a small girl...I hang around a size 10-12 although I have brief moments of being a size 8...in my mind I want to be an 8 but my body really doesn't want to go there - why oh why do I why fight it! I have T & A and they are not going anywhere - plus I LOVE THEM - and duh I'm Black I need them! Outside of the fact that I can't seem to kick the last 2-3 cigs a day I am very healthy (haven't had more than a drag off a friends in the past two weeks - go me!).

But as far as weight goes, let's be honest it does affect certain moves in aerial and pole, but so many things do! Height (for example with the CAR or CKR certain variations of it are easier if you are taller. If you do the foot hook it is MUCH harder if you have short legs,  the thigh cross is easier - my teacher pointed that one out to me, thanks from all the short girls) chest size (girls with bigger chests when coming out of an inverted crucifix on the floor can literally get caught on the chest if they are pouncing down - trust me I know LOL). Hair length...try crawling and accidentally getting caught on your hair - OUCH, flexibility - well you get the point...I could go on forever. There are always modifications of moves that you can talk to your teacher about as well.

The point is we all have issues and while I will admit to thinking from time to time "hmmm if I lost 15 more pounds that move would be easier" and yeah quite honestly it would be, I also recognize things that my 10-12 size body can do that others can't. I have Popeye arms which I hate,  I did gymnastics for years and get very bulky muscles quickly. I would LOVE to have a long lean look but with my height and body structure it wouldn't matter how much I lost, I have and will always be compact, but I have really strong arms and legs. I can climb with ease. I have big thighs - again not loving that but they do posses a Vulcan Death Grip and if they were smaller I would not be able to do a lot of what I can. Pick something about YOU that YOU love and focus on that...it might be the curve of your neck or as simple as a flip of your hair...or your smile...we all have at least ONE thing about us that we love...we ought to have more!

What I'm trying to say is that EVERY BODY TYPE has something beautiful and perfect about it. Smaller, Larger, Short, Tall we all have something magical and perfect about us. There was one girl from one of my classes who NEVER touched the pole and had a body to KILL for - she ALWAYS mesmerized us in class...one dance - seriously the whole class was SILENT when she danced...on the way out she seemed down and said "V why did nobody cheer when I danced like the rest - it's because I do no pole tricks right?" I said "NOOOOOOOO IT'S BECAUSE WE ARE SPEECHLESS!!!! YOU ARE THE MOST FLUID DANCER I HAVE EVER SEEN...YOUR HIPS DO THINGS I DIDN'T THINK POSSIBLE - WE ARE ALL IN AWE".

It was at THAT moment I realized...larger, small, tall or short we all seem to be WAY TOO HARD on ourselves and we all have our hang ups.

And there are things we can all do to improve our dance/pole/aerial work...pole/pull ups (GOD I hate those), AB workand of course my love & nemesis - working on our flexibility. Try to step away from the sport aspect for a day and just think of this as a fun dance to be enjoyed or a day goofing around in the park. It's been a while, but I am pretty sure when I was a kid on the jungle gym, it was just about having fun and not thinking "wow my butt is much bigger than Jenny's butt" (it's not by the way - my butt that is).

Most importantly, I think the number one thing that improved my dance or my feelings towards my dance was just not giving a rat's as* anymore about if my stomach looked larger in that outfit or if my thighs look too big. I'm here for me and no one else. I am my only judge. Once we move past these inhibitions, our emotions and dance will have the ability to flow freely, to move purely regardless of the weight of things.