Recently I was asked to share my thoughts on what I might be grateful for with the participants of an adult dance camp that I had the opportunity teaching at. What came to mind was the moments you see a student realize that they have the power to make physical changes and be conscious of a technical application. This moment is a tremendous light that is reflected throughout the body and radiates such joy that one cannot help but be grateful to be participating in such a wondrous event.
I think this moment is one of the reasons I enjoy teaching so much. In all honesty, I never wanted to teach in my life. I had a very different vision of what I would be doing, but for some reason, my path has created an opportunity to be in the act of sharing information that helps people to find their kinetic potential and realize the magic of dance that I so love myself. Watching students fall in love with movement and their development of a conscious relationship with their body and their moving spirit really is something to be grateful for.
Another reason why this moment is so significant for me is that it allows the learner to release their walls of insecurity and fear. In doing so, it empowers them to understand the meaning and purity of movement. It encourages a confidence in them that they too, for all these collective moments, experience the great joy and magic of dance. It is truly a wonderful world to be able to live in. I am grateful that I am blessed with the opportunity to live it on a daily basis and share it. What brings me continued joy is that those that are able to glimpse that magic for a brief amount of time are experiencing it.
It is so very important that we as human beings understand intimately the power of magic in our lives. It is incredibly significant that we allow opportunities for ourselves to be in a state of creative bliss no matter how small or expansive those times may be. We, at our very core of our existence, are pure creative energy. We need to be congruent with that so that we can be at peace with our mind and body while inhabiting the creative energy of our very being. All too often, we are held hostage to ways of existing that are not sustainable to our souls, our environment and one another.
Therefore, I am grateful. Grateful for the opportunities when I can see people stand with incredible courage in front of themselves and watch themselves dig deep within their potential and make shifts in their physical being. These very shifts will offer a magnitude of ripples in the rest of their lives. I hope that when they are faced with incongruence, they will remember the joy and magic of what they felt making changes in their bodies and realize they have the power to make changes in every part of their lives.
It is my hope that my students, whatever the age they may be, realize that in the end, learning how to dance is really learning how to navigate this wondrous life. The educational process of dancing is really a metaphor for our lives. We must daily put into practice a rigorous training so that we may pay attention to our physical being and our creative spiritual being understanding their balance and letting them be a partner in realizing our dreams. If we are to truly understand life, we must reveal our souls to the process of living and the process of learning. I can think of no better way to do them both than the art of dancing, or rather, the art of gracefully falling through space being carried by the spirit of the work and the magic of dance.
Photo Credit: Doug Roark
Amaranth Contemporary Dance: “Transcending Chronology”
Choreography: Scott Putman
Dancers: Katie Contessa and Scott Putman