After an adventurous weekend a few months back I wanted to delve more deeply into how your own wellness can contribute to the wellness of a much greater thing. Bear with me as I will be getting to some big ideas here translating through my framework of dance. I had the opportunity to travel to Greenville, SC for a weekend of dancing called Winter Blues. One class in particular caught my eye, ‘Creativity.’
I am always telling people to experiment with different foods, sleep patterns, hydration and stress reducing techniques so why can’t I experiment with my dancing as well. We started with things as simple as developing new moves by creating a character or story to our dance and exploring the different ways our body could move, embodying this character but sticking within the realm of blues dance.
This was good, I had done similar techniques before and we continued on with the class. With about 15 minutes left our teacher, Tim O’Neill, partnered with Julie Brown, started talking about our different spheres of dancing. At this point in the class we had been dancing in Sphere 1, our own body. We did not have a partner we were interacting with and we were only impacting ourselves. He brought this up so we could move onto Sphere 2, our local environment. When dancing with a partner this is our local environment. When dancing alone, as we were, it was just paying attention to the individuals around us so we didn’t hit them.
Ok so this make sense, don’t hit people. But it was more than that. Sphere 3, our community, everyone in the room was our next step. Ok so we had to dance with everyone in the room, with no direction, no leading or following, no choreography…. Hard, chaos right! We all flowed right into it though. Sometimes we would interact with 1 or 2 other individuals with one person creating a movement idea that the other two would also explore and find something new. When we felt moved to move onto the next individual it all began again but our experiences with the previous individuals added to our exploration with the new people and their experiences.
Sounds big. As we developed these ideas we all began to find a space that was fitting us as individuals, our partnerships, and our relationships between partnerships. We continued. Tim led us into Sphere 4 by shouting over the music to dance with all the blues dancers everywhere in the world, for everyone watching, for all the musicians everywhere.
We exploded! A huge rush of energy was sent rushing both in and out of our dancing space at the same time. We all, in an instance, threw our arms above our head making our dancing larger than anything we could experience alone in space and time. It was pure ecstasy in the moment, seeing how much we changed when we were all together, not just as a community but as a piece of a much greater whole.
Tim, brought us back down, going again through Spheres 3, 2, and 1. Even now writing this I see how necessary it was that he did this. Our energy was so high. We turned off the music to talk about what had happened. Julie and Tim were full of smiles as how shocked they were with the change in energy of our dancing as we shifted into Sphere 4. I could see it happen and I was just as shocked. I don’t think any of us have ever experienced quite an explosion of energy from dancing before.
Want to hear more about how this experience changed my wellness? Subscribe for more next week. Check out the solo riffin blues dancing from another event to get an idea of the interactions that were occurring in a much larger group class that weekend.