Dance is one of my greatest joys. There is a fountain of happiness that opens within when I am rhythmically moving that I have not found anywhere else. I have been extremely blessed to have found tribes of other folks who also feel this way, entering the dance with a loving dedication to their own openings. The dance space is a sacred temple, a sanctuary to explore who we each are embodied within community. It is a forgiving place, a safe place, a place without drugs and alcohol where we all struggle and triumph over our own insecurities and limitations. It is a container that is big enough for your joy, your sorrow, your awkwardness, your passion, your everything that dance can illuminate as you meet where the body and spirit merge.
Here is the video MK made for Flying Turtle:
I am in love with the people I meet dancing. ALL of them. They are brave. They are fierce. They are willing to step out of their comfort zone and challenge themselves every time they commit to the dance. Something happens when people really get into the process and everyone becomes illuminated. You will commonly hear people say to the group after, “I fell in love with all of you tonight.” This is a revolution, this ability to love beyond boundaries, beyond the fear of how it will be received and open your heart to the collective. The dances I have been to in Seattle, Santa Fe, San Francisco and San Diego have all been the most welcoming places I have ever entered. There is a kindness and an openness to anyone who shows up to play that is a precious gift even before you start to move.
My life has been completely transformed by the process of movement in community. My own issues with value, belonging, facade, embodiment, boundaries, safety, sensitivity, beauty, power and intensity have been tested over and over again. It is a good thing that this is so joyful because I would not have gone through the learning if I didn’t get some pretty high-powered juice back.
It was essential to capture this aspect of my journey, and through the Seattle Flying Turtle tribe we were blessed with the community projecting its grace into the video camera.
Dancing is really about playing with energy. Your, mine and ours. When you watch people who feel really embodied in their movements there is an energy alignment there. The movements may be flowing or frenzied, but they feel authentic. They have tapped into their center, and then can expand to meet those around them. When the filmmaker MK spoke of the shoot afterwards, she said you could have never, ever, choreographed how beautiful the dance was. The variety of the rhythms and movements that were occurring simultaneously across the floor were astonishing. You would see one person with a steady bouncing beat beside a woman raised into the air as she pours back to the ground like molasses. There were bounding chaotic dancers meeting slower fluid folks who moved their hands like East Indian mudras. Some would whip back and forth like a rubber band was attached to their torso, stretching to the limits of the tension, and then spinning back in to fly past the body of the other.
This is some of my favorite engagements, when you both understand each others movements in a totally intuitive and non-verbal way, and are able to dip in very closely without touching and then zoom back out. Its like two hawks playing in the wind, riding the energy currents together.
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I want to give Scot Robinson, the master of ceremonies at Flying Turtle BIG LOVE for creating such a juicy and vibrant container for the tribe over the years with Bruce Carloye’s early partnering. Mary Anderson of Ecstatic Dance here in Seattle. Mary’s was the first dances I attended and I still feel at home there. Soleil Hepner of Yoga and Dance Blaze who has been promoting all local Seattle dance with her free newsletter for almost a decade. Franklin Markowitz and his Morphic Field dances and Jenz Wazel and his funky Soul Motion and all the other folks doing dances here in Seattle. Much love to my new tribe in Santa Fe, the Embodydance community that taught me I could belong in any location. And to all the other cities and dancers across the globe who are sweating their prayers as we all reclaim loving, joyful engagement with each other. You all fill my life in a way nothing else has, and I thank you all for showing up. I took all of these images the night of filming for the Painted in the Desert documentary.