Thank you, Creative Spirit class and David O'Conner!
David, a brilliant director and educator in the Philly area, invited me to his class, The Creative Spirit at Temple University. The class, David explained to me, was currently exploring "Play" as part of the creative process and going to see the New Zealand dance company, Black Grace soon. "If you could tell someone the best way to see a dance performance - maybe someone who never saw one before, what would you tell them" he asked me.
It's more about the experience and what you, as an audience member bring to the performance.
"Like taking a trip..." David mused...
How do I talk about dance to people who might not have experienced it before?
David uses social media as a pedagogical tool in amazingly awesome ways! He asked his students to tweet their take-aways. Here's what they had to say:
"related when she said her "mom put her in tights when she was three and that was it" and that she "loves motion"...Saaaame"
"Jessica loves movement, and even when she leaves she always comes back to dance"
"I think it's amazing Jessica's whole life if now built around an activity her mom influenced her to do when she was 3 years old."
"Doing something physical such as dancing can change the experience"
"dance has a way to transform your emotions and bring joy"
"movement brings happiness... Definitely true"
"the story about the veteran was powerful; movement engages people"
(David asked about particularly striking moments when I realized that dance was something I needed to be doing. I told the students a story about pulling a veteran up to dance at the Festhaus when I was working at Busch Gardens and how he looked a little lost at first, but then erupted in a big smile. Dance creates connection, makes people happy, and can eliminate feelings of isolation.)
"I think it's very cool how in everyone I see they are reluctant to dance but once they start dancing it becomes fun for everyone"
(even though we were in a lecture hall, I made the students dance!)
"Engaging in physical activity, movement makes people happy"
"Joy could be a form of social justice"
"this thing dance makes people happy and builds a community"
"Dance is a form of joy and it brings everyone together"
"I never thought joy could be a form of social justice, I like the mindset Jessica formed around this statement"
"Art can bring joy"
"Joy is a form of social justice that can be created from dance"
"Art can bring joy. With dance people can feel happy and build community through the body movements."
"Owning your natural movements"
"Didn't know dance could be used as a form of therapy"
"Mind + body + spirit + community = release"
"it is fun when other people get you to dance, a smile does appear, even if you don't think about it"
"I can't wait to use dance and movement in my own work with Parkinson's patients!"
"Sometimes it takes a little weirdness to get others to participate and feel comfortable with dance"
"I get how dancing can completely transform your feelings"
"The ways that we place our bodies says alot about our relationship"
"body movement is really important when you are analyzing a person"
"Dance is inspired by every movement"
Thanks for the chance to share my dancing story with you, David and @CSTempleU! #whydancematters #danceon!