The story of using dance, the thing that hurt me most, to heal.
I remember the first time I saw someone dance. His name was Frank, he probably doesn’t remember me... I was 6. It was at my sisters recital, he did a broadway type number. My mom remembers me loving his white gloves. I came home to make my own version... of course... hehe, I always have to make it my own.
Seeing Frank gave me permission, not only tell stories with my body but, TO SHARE THEM, omg.... THIS! I was hooked.
SOOO... I danced and danced and danced. I ran from studio, to class, to competition quickly turning my idols in to my peers.
But as I ran... I forgot why I was running. I got so caught up in the bling and the validation of winning that I lost my way. I started telling the stories others wanted of me rather than my own.
I became mean and cold... bitter to myself. I demanded my body to do better and punished myself when I didn't. I threw tantrums of rage and remember physically hurting myself when I wasn’t performing at my "highest caliber". I developed unreal expectations that could only be validated by powers "higher" than my own. I thought I was improving, but really... I was just hurting.
I remember dancing in college, turning the camera towards myself and recording my improv. I looked back at the recording in complete disgust. The painful internal screams of "not good enough" were all I heard.
I look back at this now and realize that THIS IS DYSMORPHIA. But no one would talk about it because ... I was good, talented, and "working hard".
I dont want to go to deep in to how this continued to manifest. The point is that you understand the twisted way in which I treated myself.
Maybe some of you are surprised by hearing this and maybe others understand but the important part of this story is how I changed it. How I wrote a new story and used the thing that hurt me the most to do so.
I graduated school and basically stopped dancing. Not really as a conscious decision but more out of the exhaustion of my rat race. By this point, the imprint of dance was just to painful. I was conscious enough to understand that pain but not conscious enough to change it.
The break was needed but I knew I had to go back. I knew dance was a part of me and that not doing it wasn't going to fix it. So I decided to make a declaration to myself, "EVERY TIME I DANCE IT WILL BE FOR HEALING". Not for social media likes, not for attention, not to get a job... BUT TO HEAL.
Because I was free from my prior controlling systems, (Juilliard and dance studios), it wasn't to hard to change. I wanted/needed to. I just had to shift my priority. The question became, how do I use dance to reclaim my body? I got my gears spinning, my ass in practice, and a whole new world started opening up.
My journey, similar to may hero's, took me back to the origin. Using dance to tell stories, to feel deeper, to move... to literally move through anything.
And about a year later ... honestly... I feel invincible and I have my best friend back, dance. I feel I have a tool that can literally help me move through anything. And guess what: I dont give a fuck about what it looks like. My care for that has been disintegrated by the freedom I feel.
So what is dancing for healing? Well its not a bunch of new age women on a beach wiggling their arms. ... sorry. Dancing for healing is THE FULL EMBODIMENT OF YOUR ENERGY. The good, the bad, the pretty, the disturbing, all coursing through the heart beat of movement. Dancing for healing is the physical expression of your story and the aliveness you experience when you FEEL IT ALL. Its fearlessness expressed through physics; a way to be with what is growing and dying. Its fully living in what is, no matter how raw and scary that may be. Its the freedom song, and not the new age kind, I mean literally releasing the wild animals out of the cage. Anything less than that... i'm sorry, but to me is not dancing.
So JOIN ME on Saturday May 29th from 9-10:30 as I am teaching a movement workshop entitled "The Primal Body". A way back home to reclaim our natural movement.
This workshop is for EVERYONE. Regardless if you are a professional or novice we can all reclaim our bodies for healing and experience the freedom and joy of dance.
Dance with the wind and unlock your life, I love you,