Sometimes a conscious dance practice isn’t at all about dancing—it can be as simple as taking steps.
It’s hard to believe, but it can be very easy to forget to move out of one place during a dance practice. Even during wild, loud, frenetic, chaotic music, it’s not uncommon for people to root their feet into the floor and resort to gyrating everything from their hips up.
The same holds true during an elegant lyrical song: How easy it is to close our eyes and flutter our arms around like paper streamers in a breeze. So airy, so graceful … so upper body!
What are the feet doing?!
Adam Barley was one of the first 5Rhythms teachers I’ve worked with who was adamant about getting people unstuck.
“Just take steps,” he’d repeat.
When an individual was hanging out in one space for too long, Adam would approach the dancer and offer his advice:
“Just take steps.”
It was especially helpful during his workshop on Fear, when he instructed our class to hold a posture of fear, then to close our eyes, envision a path in front of us, and take steps along that path … even when we were unsure of where those footsteps would lead us.
The point was clear: The fear is there, yes. But don’t just stand there, frozen. Just take some steps, and eventually you’ll find your way into Flowing.
Maybe you’ll find your way to a really intricate pattern on the wood floor that captivates and inspires you.
Maybe a few steps will guide you to an area of the room where the acoustics are amazing and draw you into a whole new state of consciousness.
Maybe those footsteps will lead you arm to arm with “that” person; a partnership that opens energetic pathways you didn’t even know you had.
It sounds contradictory, but in a conscious dance practice, don’t worry so much about dancing. Just take some steps, and the dance will unfold on its own.