Being Present

Then it was time to settle, time for a brief talk about alignment and posture. But technical perfection was not the goal of the day. Physical and sensory engagement was. So I moved and they followed and talking was kept to a minimum. It was a joy to look out on the group and see focused eyes staring back at me. The gift of physical focus is being fully present.

Now we were warm. Time to move across the floor. A simple walking pattern transformed as the students made it their own. We had been moving in lines, three at a time, but without direction or a discussion, they moved en masse. Magic!

We danced some more, this time bigger and with more complexity, until we were sweaty and fatigued. Exhilaration!

Lunch. Chatter. Laughter. Rest.

It was time for the group of dance students to become a group of choreographers. They made the transition with ease. Motif.

Accumulation. Staging. Transposition. Augmentation. Inversion. Rhythm. Gesture. Timing. The students created their own movement and turned it inside out. The results were so very interesting and surprising. I was impressed.

After hours of hard work it was time to relax. Another flash of magic resulted as the group learned an improvisation technique called flocking. They stood in a clump and moved in unison. All attuned themselves to subtle shifts and agreed to step up and lead or surrender and follow as the dance was created in the moment. Beautiful!

Time to leave the cocoon we created. The women generously answered my questions and shared their opinions. I thanked them for welcoming me so warmly, for dancing so beautifully, and for sharing so freely. Gratitude!

But my words felt insufficient to express the richness of my experience with them. They still do.