My love affair with dance began so long ago that I don’t know from whence it came. It is unclear whether my worship of music or the body that inspired this devotion. Luckily, I get to be awed by and devoted to both.
It is the dance that has brought me home to my body, in its ever-evolving manifestations. The dance allows me to fully inhabit and experience this body, with a full spectrum of sensations, sweaty epiphanies, rivers of emotions and infinite possibilities. My callings have been revealed or confirmed to me through embodied experiences – chill bumps, a serendipitous breeze, surges of energy, felt senses. Tuning into these communications has allowed my body to communicate to me significance, truth, direction. As Martha Graham wisely stated, “the body doesn’t lie’.
Our culture often lives in opposition to and seems to feel betrayed by the body and all of the sensations, including emotions, that it hosts. The body gets hurt, sick, violated, ages, and then the ultimate betrayal, dies. I can imagine that this embodiment may invoke feelings of powerlessness, vulnerability, fear, pain and discomfort. And, our strategies for finding comfort/relief are to inhabit the mind and put up as many defenses as possible to the sensations and emotions that the body brings…
Somehow, the mind brings a sense of control, of logic. But as I learn to watch my mind more closely, I am shown how often the mind betrays me — by lying to me, putting me down, separating me from others and from myself. My mind creates plenty of obstacles, distractions and painful choices for my body.
This is not to degrade the mind or perpetuate the unfortunate dualism persistent in our culture. I’m interested in sharing my love, gratitude, awe and amazement with the body, my body, the collective human body, other bodies – plant, insect, animal – and this earth body. Embodiment is a miraculous happening.