Not many people like being photographed from behind, but living with a photographer, I am used to hearing the shutter flutter whenever my backside is facing him.

Sorry, Sir Mixalot, not like that. More like this:

The photos above are all from our 2006 trip to China, when every step I took was the beginning of an adventure into the unknown, whether it be onto an airplane leaving the Tibetan plateau, a wooden pathway through the luscious greenery of Jiuzhaigou Valley, or aboard the dingiest water vessel I have ever set foot on.

Caught in time is one foot in front of the other, a poetic symbol of a journey about to begin. I am not posed, but I am poised.

I wish images like this could be captured each time I walk into a 5Rhythms practice, but then there’d be photo after photo after photo—millions of photos—because sometimes I feel like it’s not just stepping inside the studio that’s the beginning of a journey but each individual step within the 2- or 3-hour class that has me embarking on a new adventure, exploring unfamiliar terrain.

One minute I’m throwing my body across the room in a frenzy of Chaos, and then—just like that—I find my center and twirl around myself like a whirling dervish.
I lean against the wall, roll on the floor.
Slide up next to a woman with a bum knee sitting in a folding chair and engage in a seated version of dancing.
My hands and feet are claws, then feathers.
My face dances as we pair up for a dueling Staccato, one person exclaiming “Yes!” and the other “No!”…
…The sensation of hearing my voice during a dance class is both foreign and exhilarating.
I glissade with a partner as though she and I are ballerinas; when partnered with a male to the same music, we are friendly warriors, all angles with a touch of lightness.
Stillness comes, and I think I don’t want to go on the floor, but without thought I am soon on the floor, curled up like a fetus, expanding like a stretching cat.
I am breathing audibly, entranced by the soft music my lungs have created for me.

So many snapshots, so many destinations in one class. With each step, I have boarded a plane, skipped through a grassy field, balanced myself on railroad tracks, jumped into the ocean, fallen off a cliff. Where will my next step take me?

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
~Lao-tzu

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