Monday, January 20, 2014

What is your dance of service?

Photo by Bill H. Choreography by Kun-Yang Lin.

A reflection by a former student on what our time exploring Dance and Service have meant to her. (I have her permission to reprint this, but I've left out her name and some personal details of her writing).

I think differently. I see the world differently than most people I know. I don't just see with my eyes. I see with my shoulder blades and my knee caps and the bottoms of my feet and my neck and rib cage. 

I experience the world through the body I have been given to experience life. Something I have been thinking about as a performing artist and an advocate... is how much our bodies are attached to our experiences, physical and emotional. We live in a society where we are taught what goes on in our mind and what happens in our bodies are two different things. THEY ARE NOT. They are the same thing! Why do we think of our minds and bodies and souls as these disjointed appendages? They are all one entity that make up an individual.... My body IS my mind and my SOUL. THAT is why we need to take care and nurture and nourish our physical bodies, it is what allows our soul to move about the earth and mingle with the creation of the Universe. Dance has made me realize when I am experiencing emotional pain, stress, anger, happiness, my body feels it too. Sometimes, my mind doesn't even know what I am feeling and I ask my body instead - I have learned to listen. 

Readers, what is your dance of service? Through dance classes and other physical practices (Yoga, Pilates, Kung Fu, Contemplative Movement Practices), I've learned to look inward, to turn to my physical body when my environmental states seem to be in chaos. (In Yoga as a philosophical and religious practice, the physical postures are practiced to calm the mind for meditation.) Dance also can calm the mind, energize the body, and can build a sense of community. Dance can bring people together. Dance can create joy. Dance can be a form of service.

What's your Dance? How do you keep moving forward?

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