I came to dance early in life. It was a way to re-center myself in the tumultuous years of my adolescence. As I grew up, I was taught that dance was superfluous to the more important things in life: mothering, career, being a mature adult. I let dance fall away as I pursued academic studies and life as a professor. It wasn’t until later, as I entered another tumultuous period, that I learned that dance is not superfluous to life. It is central. It is my soul speaking to me and I have learned to listen. Since then, my regular dance practice has been the most important way I know to stay centered and connected in the world.
After years of “just dancing,” I slowly began to bring movement into my classes at the small, liberal arts college in Olympia, Washington, where I am on the faculty. It soon became clear that young people were aching to connect their studies of the higher mind with the passion of the heart and the movement of the body. Our work together has been a laboratory for exploring what it means to be fully human in a chaotic world. Sometimes messy. Sometimes joyful. Angry. Erotic. Shameful. Sad. Silly. Always beautiful and full of grace. We keep learning how dance helps us re-center and find our way in the world with more clarity.
I have been blessed with many teachers, colleagues, and students who have helped me shape my teaching into an ever-changing tribute to the great adventure of discovering our true selves and the courage it takes to step out in the world. It’s been over a decade now and I am grateful for the humor, wisdom, compassion and intelligence it takes to be willing to not know what’s next. On we go.
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