5 Ways We Are Expanding Movement Practice Through Pandemic

Top 6 Ways We Are Expanding Open Floor Movement Practice Through Pandemic

As lockdown has diminished our personal worlds to be much smaller, simpler, quieter (maybe!), our lives feel tighter, contracted. Many of us feel confined in one place, restricted to our homes, and reduced to socializing with the same people. However, those who are showing up to the movement practice online with Open Floor teachers are EXPANDING other parts of their lives in surprising ways…

1. Expanding Community Connections

Where we once practiced Open Floor on local dance floors, geographically located communities, with the same teachers and the same room of people every week, now, we can easily dance with communities all over the globe. Online classes have allowed movers to connect across continents, any time of day, and attend classes with new teachers.

“I will always remember these Sundays as one of the best parts [of the pandemic]: dancing and calling in our higher selves with people from around the globe. What a joy and a privilege!”

Bella Krieger, Canada - with OFI Teacher Nishta Matarese

“It has been so great to have the opportunity to take part in something which wouldn't be open to me in the semi-rural area I live in. I look forward to my Wednesday evenings in front of the computer."

Mel H, UK - with OFI Teacher Audrey Boss

“I feel privileged and grateful for the opportunity to witness amazing dancers and artists from all around the world, and to share my work in such a safe and prolific environment.”

Audrey Kaplan, Israel - with OFI Teacher Cathy Ryan

“[It’s] the most safe, intimate, and entertaining sharing with other members: in the closed group, both in-person in breakout rooms, and in the Facebook group.”

Lulu, New Zealand - with OFI Teacher Kaia Hawkins

“It transported me into the field of instant global connection with high vibrational humans of intention for authenticity, opening hearts and minds.”

Anita Michaelidis, Cyprus - with OFI Teacher Deborah Jay-Lewin

2. Expanding our Hunger for solitude

Some people thrive at attunement to themselves in the company of others,  and some of us do it better in solitude. What the pandemic is giving us  is the opportunity to practice attuning to ourselves in new ways – without a room full of people. To be witnessed differently over a screen can shift what we have access to in ourselves.

“The first time I danced online I was blown away by what I felt, experienced and came alive in me. I have been practicing Open Floor for years - in the same way, on the same dance floors, with basically the same results. I was not expecting to have such a profoundly different experience dancing at home online.”

Erin Adams, USA - with OFI Teacher Jenny Macke

“I'm learning to listen to my body and if I need to be energetic then I can. But, I can also rest. I'm definitely immersing myself into this being who I am. I'm totally enjoying this exploration. I'm absolutely fascinated by the whole process."

Mel H, UK - with OFI Teacher Audrey Boss

“It was precious moments during this particular period of time. It led me where I needed to be...closer to my inner center.”

Lucie Daolio, France - with OFI Teacher Nishta Matarese

“Perfectly spot on to foster my healing process and help me come to terms with many things. I even took some important decisions that I feared to take before.”

Kasia Janusz, Poland - with OFI Teacher Nishta Matarese

“I have come to feel palpably that I can bring WHATEVER emotions are with me. So much grieving and loving and losing and yearning and weeping has been able to flow out of me during our sessions.”

Sarah Helen Keith-Roach, UK - with OFI Teacher Sarah Davies

3. Expanding how we practice embodiment

The pandemic may have taken us off the dance floor, but it has connected many movers to some of the other foundational elements of Open Floor Practice and the Art in Motion program focused on building creative intelligence through dance, writing, theatre and visual arts. 

“This is so much more than a weekly class of dance. We use multimedia … Meditation, dance, writing, art-making and sharing.”

Lulu, New Zealand - with OFI Teacher Kaia Hawkins

“The variety of the offering - we dance, we write, we do collage, we meditate - opened up new pathways …”

Andrea Kaiser, Germany - with OFI Teacher Lucie Nerot

“I really appreciated the presence put in to make it more than a movement class, to take us deeper in only one hour.”

Jenny Harries, UK - with OFI Teacher Nishta Matarese

“I wasn’t sure about collaging, but found it very useful.. loved the freedom of it not being wrong in any way, rather like the movement and dance. So liberating for a recovering perfectionist."

Sarah C, UK - with OFI Teacher Audrey Boss

"I find it particularly valuable when you demonstrate. I feel it’s really important, especially given in this kind of setting where although together, we’re dancing alone in our physical spaces instead of on a dance floor surrounded by bodies... it really helps me with the learning and leaning in to embodiment."

Emily Rizza, Scotland - with OFI Teacher Doborah Jay-Lewin

4. Expanding courage and confidence

In person dances can be intimidating or have barriers to access for many people. Sometimes trying new things is easier from home. At least for these movers: 

“I haven’t done anything like this before. I am so painfully self-conscious, I’ve never had the courage to go to a live class. Doing classes on Zoom has really helped navigate that line between feeling so self conscious and the freedom and spontaneity that arise when move and include a feeling instead of trying to get rid of it. When lockdown ends, I definitely feel able to go to a live class.”

Portia Bartlett, UK - with OFI Teacher Sarah Davies

"I was not a born dancer, my parents said I had two left feet. Initially, I was terrified and thought ‘I can't do this, it's something totally out of my comfort zone.’ All those childhood memories came flooding back. I stuck with it and over the course of the weeks, I got to love moving my body in ways I didn't realise it could. I actually found a connection with my feet and discovered I did have a right foot and left foot. They just wanted to move and dance to the beat of the music with the rest of my body!"

Steph Corderey, UK - with OFI Teacher Audrey Boss

“With the online dancing, I was able to free my movement and when I started to dance in person again, I could see that I had gained confidence.”

Laurence de Sanchez, France - with OFI Teachers on the Ground Floor Lab

"In a certain way it felt easier as I could stay in my own safe home space. Staying in my own little box gave me the feeling that the impact of the presence of other was less, which made the showing up easier in a way. Helpful with very vulnerable places and a nice first step towards showing up face to face with others."

H.D., Belgium - with OFI Teacher Deborah Jay-Lewin

5. Expanding what we create

We move. We feel. We rest. We create. And, when we practice enough something new emerges.

“[It’s} not just in our movement, our dance, but in what we are creating in the world in other ways. A space of presence and openness that is rare and so powerful to re-discover our playfulness.”

Audrey Kaplan, Israel - with OFI Teacher Cathy Ryan

“My painting has evolved significantly from these online Art in Motion workshops. It's affordable, therapeutic, and expanding.”

Lulu, New Zealand - with OFI Teacher Kaia Hawkins

“I’ve gone from being shy and stuck, helpless … feelings of being lost, strong inner criticism… to creating with myself, with my daughter, friends, as a facilitator and influencer... Sparkling and igniting.”

Andrea Kaiser, Germany - with OFI Teacher Lucie Nerot

JOIN THESE TEACHERS ONLINE TO EXPAND YOUR PRACTICE...

You can find more Open Floor teachers offering classes, workshops and groups on our Open Floor Teacher Calendar.

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