"If I could tell you in words, I wouldn't need to dance." Isadora Duncan, when asked what one of her dances meant.
BodyPoetics is a breath and imagery based movement practice unlike any of the ecstatic or "conscious" dance stuff that's out there. It will take you deeply into your uniquely creative dance and life, but it will also allow you to explore and expand your internal landscape, making space for all that has happened to you and all that is to come.
You are a dancer, regardless of what you've been told or what you think. It's in your cells as a human being. You are meant to move to music and it's the medicine your soul and heart craves.
I've been dancing pretty much since I could walk, and dance, being my main joy in life, was the first thing my serious depression ate up in my mid-20s. Only close to my 40th birthday did I return, quite spontaneously and unintentionally, to dance. (That's a whole story in and of itself.)
Soon after, I went to my first training and then another and then another and then another... Until I'd gone to about nine really serious trainings in just a few years. I focused on the use of movement and expressive arts in relation to deeply embedded trauma.
Because I love to study and because I love to build bridges between subjects, Bodypoetics is a synthesis of everything I've ever looked at in terms of movement or body based psychotherapies. It all gets put into the compost heap of my mind-body and eventually it blooms into new forms.
(In particular, I need to note, Bodypoetics is influenced by the underlying philosophy of Japanese Butoh and its emphasis on body honesty.)
In a typical Bodypoetics class, we'll first work to thoroughly warm up and explore the body, bit by bit. This is when we focus on the anatomy of being in this human form. We focus on taking care and yet expanding mobility and ability.
Then we work with an abstract concept for a third of the class. Exploring one concept over and over to different music to experiment more and more deeply. This is when we really learn new things about ourselves.
Toward the end of class, we focus on community, working as a unit or in pairs or both. We grow community roots and learn to see and witness and support one another.
All along we're building physical strength and a capacity for dealing with whatever is thrown at us, which, of course, translates to emotional and mental strength and resiliency in our daily lives.
We also practice breath based prompts to work on deep listening. The stories of our bodies have, for most of us, been ignored for far too long, and body has a ton to say that we need to hear in order to be our best selves.
You can think all you want and try to process all you want, but your healing will come when you can drop into your physical self and feel all the feelings, not just those that make us feel "good." We can no longer afford to compartmentalize our intellect from our heart nor either from our body. And we can no longer compartmentalize ourselves from our communities.
We heal through relationship, and through dance, we explore intimate relationship in a safe way that builds connection to self and other.