How enlivening to dance again in a group. I love the field of energy created when we dance together, when we reconnect to the body, and the body of this earth. I recall lying on my belly with limbs uplifted, and feeling my tummy roll, and pulsate across the wooden floor. I enjoyed this sensation of weight on my tummy, the uplift of limbs contrasting with the pressure of belly on wood. I felt my soft belly merging into the hard floor, felt the blurring of separation between floor and belly, between earth and body. I recalled my body as ancient, as gastropod fixed to a spot by muscle and flesh, and a felt the fluid in me too, rolling with the motion.
This belly contact was a very small but not insignificant part of this morning’s session. This was a welcome return to weekly dancing. The general theme was around coming home to self via grounding to the body. We did several warm up dances, and this was one of them.
The idea of the warm ups is to remember how to attune to the body. In these playful practises we remember how to listen to her song, how to follow her call and move in synergy with her. This particular activity involved paying attention to a particular part of the body and allowing that part of the body to direct the play. We started with the feet and worked up to the head, being invited to go as slowly as we felt. This is a really simple exercise but one which really grounds us to our bodies.
By paying attention to a particular part of the body we allow ourselves to connect with the mind of the body, and to tune in to its feelings, its motivations- eg, its movement impulses towards or away from. When we pay attention to the body we focus our mind on the body/mind. It’s like focusing on the breath in meditation. It encourages and assists us to stay with the body, and is a vehicle for returning to the body when the mind slips away.
Dancers are always encouraged to come to each practise with a sense of playfulness, of wonder and openness. There is no right or wrong way to move, to feel, to be. There just is, and when we pay attention in a way that is open and curious we find ourselves delighting rather than criticising, exploring rather than condemning. We simply move, and stay with the movement, we are the movement, we are moving and there is no separation.
I enjoyed the whole lot. I enjoyed stretching my mind, yawning into the shape and feel of my body. I remembered the deep peace of the truth of the dance. I remembered how to dive into my body/mind and to stay there. I began with my feet, pointing and stretching, arcing and shaping lines in the air Then my foot called me to hold her, to be with her in a gentle cradling. I recalled the previous weekends dance when Melanie, had looked at my foot and said “this foot needs some loving!” She placed her cool hands around my foot, sending love and healing to my tight arch. And in this morning’s dance I too sent loving to my feet.
What a relief, what a surrender. Now my foot could let go of all this holding, all this uprightness, all this being solid. My foot could rest a while in loving attention. And so I sat holding and cradling my feet. And when rested enough my feet explored each other, they found a way to cradle each other like bodies spooning in bed….And later still I rose on my feet, felt the solid ground beneath me, felt the lifting off from the earth. I felt the strength of the rest of my body rising with vitality and the force of life… Feet on ground again. I am grounded again.