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Just Go Ahead and Flop

This past Friday, while in New York, I took a dance class.  I have been doing this lately on Fridays, going to the city to take dance and voice classes and absorb artistic inspiration of all kinds.

Looking at the studio schedule, I decided to try a Contemporary Floor class.  I have taken many Floor Barre classes and figured it would be similar; conditioning exercises on the floor, moving across the floor with simple combinations, something like that.  The class was also taught by a former So You Think You Can Dance contestant and, as a huge fan of that show, I thought that’d be fun!

The class began with centering and breathing.  Ahhh, I thought, this is going to be right up my alley.  Then our teacher demonstrated the first “warm-up” which was a lovely choreographed sequence on the floor, using the core to contract and expand and roll around.  It looked pretty!  It was hard.  Instead of moving all watery and fluid like her, I felt like a piece of petrified wood trying to flip itself over. Read more

Skillfulness

My recent change of schedule has yielded me more free time. This is exactly what I intended, of course, but free time by itself can be tricky.  There are pitfalls all around (tv, internet, opening the fridge and cupboards repeatedly, etc.)  I was aware of these pitfalls and their allure, so I had a plan:  carve out specific time for my creative endeavors.

It turns out that statement is too broad to actually be helpful.  While having a plethora of outlets for creativity is awesome, I can get lost in contemplating  my options and end up doing nothing at all.  Enter tv, internet and the endless quest for snacks.

The big thing keeping me from these pitfalls over the past few weeks is a refreshing desire to become more skillfull. Read more

Studio Spaces

The narrow staircase of a dance studio has special meaning for me.  I walked up my first important stairway to dance at age 13.  It was downtown Riverside, California at a magical place called Studio 9.   Ever the latebloomer, I was too old for the kid classes and had start in an adult class.   This turned out for the best.  It is my fashion to do things in a roundabout way.

The space was small and a little awkward, just like me,  so I felt immediately at home.   I was taking classes and performing with a group of people who were unique and imaginative and kind.  It was my first exposure to real creative collaboration and to the unique bonds of friendship that remain long after the curtain closes.  That staircase led me straight to my self. Read more

My Notebook

I process my thoughts and feelings in writing much better than I do using spoken words. So, as you might imagine, my journal is a one of my most valued possessions.

Once upon a time I would hand-pick my journal, something pretty with texture and color, and I would use it exclusively for ramblings of the mind. These days, I use a simple spiral-bound notebook and fill those pages with all sorts of things. Thus, it becomes a bit of a time capsule for me.

My latest notebook has been with me since the start of this year and I have used it for everything: lists, calculations, plans, notes, ideas, etc. The sight of its sky-blue cover fills me with affection. I know it will listen to whatever I have to say. It will help me solve riddles and make decisions and express feelings. It will supply the solid lines and spaces for me to do the work that is needed on any given day. Read more