There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it…it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. – Martha Graham
Children have a wonderful access to the playful side of themselves. Without the burdens of responsibility and concern about the judgment of others, a child’s spirit allows them to be themselves. The loss of that innocence can be restrictive as a child transitions to the teenage and adult years, blocking access to that joyful individual expression of self.
Creating the environment where access to this truest sense of oneself is possible for each student in a dance class is both a joy and a challenge.
As a teacher, it means being willing to first be open to that playful side of yourself.
It means taking risks and being vulnerable and just getting down and playing. It means no judgment. It means honoring “mistakes” for whatever they offer in the moment.
As teachers and learners, it means understanding the origin of that voice in our own heads – knowing that it restricts us, tells us that what we have to offer isn’t good enough, and instigates fear.
Steven Pressfield in The War of Art writes about how we can use fear to get out of our own way.
“Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do.
Remember our rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.
Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equates to the strength of Resistance. Therefore the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul. That’s why we feel so much Resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there’d be no Resistance.”
Let’s do the thing that scares us the most…let’s be ourselves. When we claim our own expression, we give permission for each person around us to be themselves, more confident in their own voice, their own creativity, and their own expression.
When we let ourselves be a stand for our own expression and for the expression of others, we create a world is that much more gentle, loving, accepting and ready for what each person has to contribute.
Blog posts coming soon:
We are all a work in progress…
The power of breathing together…
Creating from your own demons…