A Change in Rhythms

I went to Deja’s Tribal Fusion Belly Dance workshop @ Borrowed Earth Emporium last Saturday and it was wonderful. We explored not only belly dance, but hip hop and yoga. Afterwards, Deja and I had a chance to talk about dance technique among other things. Given my current goals both with dance and my personal life, I decided to switch gears by taking Deja’s Adult Modern Dance class.

I’m going to give African Dance a break, especially since I will be taking it from Deja at WSU this Fall twice a week, in order to pursue something new that will be awkward and challenging no doubt, but will help me develop poise and focus.

I’ve been feeling a deep need to sharpen my attention in my day-to-day life, to become comfortable with silence and stillness, to find a centered space to let my aspirations come forth. I’m also trying to find balance both literally and figuratively in my body and in the management of my life and I think Modern Dance will help me with that. It is something that requires grace and strength and I want to learn how to develop both. Dance has really helped me connect with my body and my mind, making both healthier in the process.

That being said, I’m going to cease my African classes for a while. I still love African but I’m the kind of person that has to really devote myself to new things in order to absorb them. Besides, I need a new rhythm for the direction I want to take my life. I recently finished reading Maps to Ecstasy: The Healing Power of Movement by Gabrielle Roth and she writes about the Five Sacred Rhythms; Flowing, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical and Stillness.

To me African is very much in the realm of Staccato and Chaos which is excellent for breaking up old patterns and freeing the mind to exist in the body. But I need to develop Flowing and Stillness and I’d like to bring Lyrical into my belly dancing more and I think Modern will help me achieve this.

All of the great belly dancers whom I look up to are constantly saying, “Take Modern! Take Jazz! Take Everything! It will only make you a better dancer!” I’ve noticed that I keep having duck feet while I’m belly dancing and I think Modern will help me develop pretty, pointy toes. Deja said Modern will improve any dance you’re attempting and Modern Dance is her background (even further back than her 14 years of African training), so what better person to learn from. I’m excited and anxious and a little nervous and I love that feeling. I think it’s really good to make yourself do things that are foreign. I had some Ballet training when I was four and five, but that was a long time ago and Modern is not exactly Ballet, so it will be good to learn something new.

If anyone else wants to take Adult Modern, Deja is teaching a class at the Eccles Art Center every Wednesday night for 8 weeks from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. It just barely started, so I’m sure if you came in now, you will not have missed TOO much. Go to Deja’s website for more info: TRIBALove Dancer

Oh! AND everyone should go to Borrowed Earth July 10th and August 21st for the rest of Deja’s Tribal Fusion Workshops ;0)

Love + Light


P.S. Found some really amazing pics of Ruth St. Denis in the New York Public Library’s Flickr set, The Denishawn Collection


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