Like, everyday?10 minutes, right after you wake up perhaps. Roll out of bed, find your way to the floor. Notice your breath, see what arises and follow the thread, first thing in the morning. Two students of mine have been doing this for awhile now. They made a pact with each other — a simple nod when they see each other in class -- "I'm dancing every morning...you?" What’s happened is that they are able to “drop-in” more quickly, with more depth, and for longer periods of time.
The work I am embarking on in class, and in my performance work...it's elusive. It’s easy to wonder what the f**ck is going on when attention is not being paid to breath and sensation...when trust has not been formed in connection to oneself. It’s a slippery slope, and it’s easy to fall off if awareness to the moment is not being held with respect. So try dancing more to understand and trust that slope more fully. 10 minutes every morning. Ask a friend to join you. Give a simple nod indicating yes, I danced a little more this week. Sure, take the weekends off, that’s a good idea. And then start again on Monday. See what happens when you give yourself permission to dance every single day. Let me know how it goes by telling me about it here.
The poem below is from a writing exercise we did in class one Friday.
It's by Helen Turner, who dances, every single day:
What is this place, these 3 hours on a Friday morning?
Is this dance?
When is this dance?
When does this become dance?
Does this become dance?
My thoughts are pushing into my bones, through my muscles. They want to be included. Usually I wait for you to quieten down, fade into the sound scape, hangout with the train and the meadowlark, the sound of children’s voices.
I bake in the sun, half in and half out of the French doors. Skin and sun, the hairs on my skin, thinking, the sun on my eyelids making my mouth tilt upwards, thinking.
Let us make a space for everything.
An empty internal canvas dotted with the color of words, a stroke of magenta, now orange.
From the bones the thoughts move, tasting each bone. Is there greeting? There is greeting.
I want to kneel on just the one knee, like she does. My arms come together over the knee and suddenly I am here, right here, right now, and Jo says “5 more minutes”, and I think “Oh dear, I just arrived”. But then I think, “that’s what we have”, and I’m in the dance, a bit wobbly but staying with it and I’m here and gone and then there is another 5 minutes. So here we all are. It is enough.
And then, I find the birds and I know now why I showed up this morning.
With Warmth, Joanna of Joanna and The Agitators sweetly agitating/persistently upending www.joannaandtheagitators.com
1. SUMMER DANCE CLASSES:
The summer session starts on Tuesday, June 6th and runs through Thursday, August 31st...will I see you there?
“I was deciding between seeing the Dali Lama and coming to class today…I choose class.” – Simone. “Me too!!” — Suzzy.
"I feel free." -- Linda Stonerock, Current Student of 13 years
"I can find someone else’s breath in the room when I cannot locate my own.” — Helen Turner, current student of 12 years
"I walk in the world differently because of this class." -- Nancy Ruff, Current Student of 4 months
"I am going to do this for the rest of my life.” — Liza Patrick, Current student of three years
2. DOG DANCE, Performance and Workshop:
Performance: This Friday, May 19th, 7pm at Floorspace, $10.
Workshop: This Saturday, May 20th, 1-4pm, Boulder Circus Center $69 (includes ticket to performance on Friday night). There is only one spot left in this workshop. Let me know ASAP if you are interested in attending.
“Joanna creates earthquakes. She re-aligns the universe.” — Julie Rothschild, Owner of Julie Rothschild Movement
“The generosity of Dog Dance is invaluable." Audience member at February's performance
"Stunning. Just Stunning." -- Freddi Acora, Audience member at Current Student.
“Thank you for holding the space in which I could unfold…safely, quietly, loudly, in my own time.” –– Margaret Harris, student for 11 years before moving to Jackson Hole, Wyoming!
"(The workshop) was wonderful. I couldn't say why... because it is just too potent for me. I'm not sure I have words for it still, but they are coming....been dog dancing every day since... so rich." -- Abi Averitt, participant in Learning Dog Dance and Audience Member
“I was SO craving class after your STUNNING performance of Dog Dance last night” — Simone Key, current student of five years, participant in Learning Dog Dance, and audience member.
"Wonder. I've been thinking about wonder." -- Helen Turner, student and repeat audience member at Dog Dance.