Once upon a time, I got invited to an acquaintance’s birthday party. I liked her very much, so I went, though she lived almost two hours away. She had sent a rather long list of things one would need for a ritual she planned to do as part of the celebration. It made me tired even to read it. On the way, I picked up all the things on the list. It took a while. Finally I got to the party.
I had never been to her house before, so I pulled up across the street to scope it out. It was a chilly, gray day. There were lots of people, outside. The party was outside. Everyone looked drab, in brown and denim. I sat there a while. It began to drizzle. I didn’t know any of these people. I am an introvert. I am not a big ritual person. I gave up. I turned my car around and drove away.
There was no easy transition from my world to that one. The difference was too great. This happens with our practice, too. If the transition is too difficult, we are likely to avoid it. Jihad Racy told me to always have my instrument out, to have m music out, to have everything ready so all I needed to do was pick up the nay. It helps to have our dance space and music ready, too—a streamlined workflow, so it is easy to push play and walk onto the mat. But them what?
How do we get from the everyday into the flow?
One way is Spherical Movement. Elena Lentini, elenalentini.com, one of our greatest living dancers, uses this exercise in her warm up. It’s soothing, and healing, and low stakes, just what a warmup should be.
You are on a sphere (imaginary ; ), pressing against it from head to foot, arms upraised, like you are embracing a ball bigger than you are; your whole body describes the arc of the sphere. You could also do this sitting (the ball would be smaller), or lying down, or body part by body part, or even visualize the movement.
As your body moves, you morph around the sphere, from front to back, breathing as you go, exhaling as you arc forward, inhaling as you arc back, as if the ball is now behind you. Go slowly. Take your time—after all, you are now a heavenly body :). Discover each moment individually as you ooze around the sphere.
The perfect music: https://www.dropbox.com/s/lopoy0rpkv186li/Elena_Music_05.mp3?dl=0(This music is nice in a big space if you have one–you will get it when you hear it. Don’t listen in advance—listen the first time when you use it. I don’t know who the artists are—if anyone does, please tell me.)
Sweet, sweet, softness and exaltation.
Please let me know how it goes.
News and happenings
March into the Spotlight: Bring Basic Belly Dance Back Challenge
Mar 24 – Mar 30
Alia’s Upcoming Classes and Workshops
Fun Classes. I’m teaching live weekly-ish online dance classes! Each class is streamed live on Thursdays at 7pm EST and a recording is posted until the next class replaces it. Registration coming soon! Email me if interested.
July 14. I’ll be at Cairo Cabaret in Chicopee MA, dancing and teaching workshops in Improv and Group Dance composition. https://www.facebook.com/events/2223293227683591/
Aug 12-Mid Sept. I’ll be covering for Amity’s Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced classes in WRJ.
Any time. Zitastic and Embodiment are now available on Teachable!