“I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each, it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one’s being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes, in some area, an athlete of God. Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire….”~Martha Graham
Last week, I had committed to doing a pop-up dance performance nearby. As we approached the date, a few obstacles emerged, most notably a small but painful injury. I wasn’t sure we could go through with the performance as planned.
Then I flipped my thinking to presupposing the performance and started focusing on how we could make a dance performance happen. We made a couple of adjustments to time, venues, types of movement and proceeded full speed ahead.
While we were warming up, I shared with a fellow performer that this is one of the many treasures of being in a practice: You assume the practice and move from there.
For me, as you may have gleaned from other posts, a major practice is dancing, including sharing my passion for dance through performing. And in the past several years that has included numerous public performances that allow me to spread the uplifting, healing, empowering dance magic to everyone around rather than solely to those who (can) buy a ticket.
So, we danced!
And, not surprisingly, it was a wonderful experience again. As rewarding as the beautiful movement and appreciative reception were, the transcendence for me was the experience of continuing to stay true to my practice. I persevered in threading dance into more and more places, places that may not have felt dance’s magic touch before, like sidewalks and benches and tree lawns and parking lots…and the people passing through them.
When I wrote before about the power of practice here, I spoke in terms of devotion or “love, loyalty or enthusiasm for an activity or cause” that entails fidelity, care, and dedication. Being devoted facilitates our pushing the limits of possibility–for ourselves, for the Universe.
I am devoted to dance and to sharing dance’s power…and incredibly grateful for the boon this practice showers.
Photos top and bottom courtesy of Nikki Carrara © 2017; Sculpture-Gilbert Boro