Learning to Follow

I’ve been learning to follow in dance recently and it has been a revealing experience. There is something special about being able to rest my head on my partner’s, let my body rest against theirs, and follow the rhythm of the music and the dance we are carving within it. Leading can take a lot …

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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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Toughing it Out, Switching Gears, and Taking a Break

I had a terrible night dancing just recently. A night where I felt completely disconnected from dancing – something that I truly am passionate about. I felt awkward, bored, frustrated, and completely in my head; disconnected from my whole. This is not a new feeling. I have experienced this before with swordplay. It’s something that …

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Meet Don’t Just Follow (in Dance and Life)

I dance a few different dance forms where you dance with both men and women. I had a month last year where I remarked to a friend of mine that all of my best dances had been with men. Many of these came when I was in the lead role and they the follow. The …

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Invest Time in Body Maintenance

As a martial artist and a dancer I have become intimately aware of the condition of my body. I want it to last for a long time and I want it to be able to perform for me to the best of its capacity throughout that time. I realize for a long time I took …

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A Lesson on Life from Contact Improvisation

I enjoyed something Andrew Harwood expressed in the Contact Improvisation workshop I’m taking this week: Good dance is like life. It’s not a clean affair. It’s not always pretty. It can be awkward, chaotic, profound, and terrible. The best improvisers are willing to get down into the mud. To wallow in it. To incorporate the …

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