You are bendy enough.
Someone said to me yesterday, “I’m a little nervous to take your class because I’m worried I won’t be bendy enough.”
You know what?
There is so much to worry about in this world of ours, that I will take your "bendy enough worry" and hold onto it for you so that you don’t have to.
I will put it in my pocket and pull it out for its annual dusting — wait, who am I kidding? I haven’t dusted anything since I moved into my house 12 years ago (please don’t share this newsletter with my mother).
I will just keep it in my pocket and let it gather the dust it was meant to gather.
Being bendy is not a pre-requisite for dancing.
Yes, if you want to be a soloist for the New York City Ballet, you need to be bendy, but at this point, is that really what you want?
The hours are god-awful, you have to wear tights all day long, and I hear you can’t eat cake for breakfast.
So let’s re-think that career path AND the bendy myth.
Instead of thinking of it as trying to get more bendy, let’s start thinking about it as trying to move in a way that feels good to YOU.
And if you are so inclined to take a yoga class to work on expanding your bendy quotient that would be an excellent option.
And if you are more inclined to stay in your pajamas all day eating a bagel and lox, that would be just as excellent.
Both have their own inherent benefits.
Either works and both will make your more bendy in their own way (eating bagels with cream cheese, lox, onion, tomato, and eggs? They make your lips very bendy).
I was born inherently bendy, and at this point it has become a bit of a problem for me.
My ligaments are over extended from stretching too far, so now I am re-working the entire bendy paradigm.
I am also addicted to the sensation of stretching as far as I can, which means I am now struggling with finding comfort in less bendy movement patterns.
It's not going so well.
Lucky you if you are not inherently bendy.
You are working from a place where there is always somewhere to go.
But let's be totally honest:
There are some dance circles where bendy is important.
It is an inherent value in that particular culture.
I love moving in that sphere sometimes, and I think there are a huge amount of attributes that are satisfying and gratifying about it.
But in the little dance culture I circulate in?
Bendy just isn’t so important.
Some people are bendy, some people aren’t bendy.
Some people are tall, some people aren't tall.
Some people have curly hair, some people don't.
That is what makes this work so endlessly compelling to me.
I am not looking for, or drawn to, bendy.
I am looking for, and am drawn to: truth, veracity, goodness, humor, absurdity, incongruity, and the instinctive logic that only comes out at night, right before I fall asleep and begin to dream.
Your dance mission for the week is to follow that night logic.
I don’t know what that means exactly, but I think it means noticing the space between sleep and consciousness.
I think it means listening to what is humming right below the surface.
That’s where the dancing comes from.
That place we cannot see but that we know is there, just waiting to be remembered.
If you could be so kind as to share this blog with 2 of your unbendy or bendy friends, eat some cake, and then start a conversation around this topic, I would be thrilled.
And then post a comment here about how it all went.
I would love to hear from you.
With Warmth and Jivey Vibes,
Joanna and The Agitators
sweetly agitating/persistently upending