Be Present to Your Audience

My friends Sean and Kiara were standing at the alter in a beautiful church in New Westminster. I was standing just to the side of Sean, his best man, joyfully watching my friend take a beautiful woman as his wife. The priest was talking to all those assembled of love and the symbology of the …

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Untying the Knot

Sometimes when I feel really afraid of something. Deep in the pit of me afraid. I take that fear and I go off into a room with it. I close the door and then I close my eyes. I dive down into that space where the knot is. Often it feels like it’s in my …

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Catch Them Doing Something Right – More on Teaching

Receiving criticism can be useful for one’s development. Someone else can often see flaws in your execution from a better perspective and offer insights into how to overcome your most important challenges. However many live their life in a constant state of self-criticism. They see everything they do for its flaws; adding your points on …

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Dancing for Connection, Dancing for Art

Last night was a lousy night of dancing. No it wasn’t. It was emotionally rich. Last night the predominant feeling that I had was sadness, somehow related to feeling disconnected. The dance that was offered was not the dance that I wanted to dance. I wanted to dance an angry dance or a sad dance, …

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The Road to Mastery is 25% Technical and 75% Mental

When I look at my pursuit of mastery and proficiency in the various arts of my life I see more clearly now that truly a very small percentage of what is between me and mastery (meaning a high level of proficiency) is technical ability. Obviously technical ability is essential to mastery but the barriers that …

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The Tunnel – A Movement Training Concept

(A version of this post was originally posted on the Duello.TV blog) In swordplay: Your sword is getting set aside while you attack. Your parry is not succeeding in closing the line. In dance: You’re failing at a lift. Your follow is misreading your lead. You’re unable to complete a smooth turn or spin. Poor …

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When Can You Call Yourself a Dancer?

I had an interesting discussion with a friend and dance partner the other day. I asked her if she considered herself a “dancer” or “someone who dances”. She said the latter because she felt that saying that she’s a “dancer” implies a professional relationship with the pursuit. Though I’m writing this post from the perspective …

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Choose to be Energetic

On the way home from a big fencing tournament last year, one of my students who was riding shotgun, feeling suitably exhausted, turned to me and asked “How are you so awake still? How do you have so much energy?” There are many reasons I believe that I have a lot of energy but one …

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When Others Shine, I Gain

“When others shine. I gain.” This is a shift I made in my own personal philosophy recently and it felt important to write more about it. I believe in choosing your philosophy. I feel that all transformation requires a shift at the deepest level. Your philosophical view of the world and then the strategy you …

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Allowing for Asymmetry in Love

I abhor the idea that love must be symmetrical: “The one who loves the least, has the most control.” Perhaps this connection of love and control comes from an unhealthy relationship with love. One where we ask love to take over our lives, to rescue us from ourselves, to fill all of our holes and …

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