Embracing The Unfamiliar: Life Lessons From Dancing

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.”~André Gide

So, we hinge over from our waists, turning on one deeply bent leg, and spiral our torsos fully around as if chasing that trailing leg.  While keeping our focus on our trailing foot.


We worked on this turn yesterday in dance class as part of a long phrase that strung together numerous challenging moments.  The dance photos here only partially reflect the movement, but at least give an idea.

As I practiced the phrase and watched my comrades do the same, I thought about how I have attempted this movement many times and yet still find it very hard to perform well.

Sure, some of it is due to the complexity of the movement.  But I realized how much of the difficulty stemmed from the fact that the movement is unfamiliar. Being upside down, twisted, turning on one leg, and fixing our gaze over our shoulders while spinning is not something we do often in everyday life.

What struck me especially forcefully was how much we continued to resist dropping and turning our heads or hingeing over or bending our standing legs as fully as we could.  We were still holding on to the familiar in one or more ways. I.e. upright, symmetrical in the torso, focus level, legs straight.

Not surprisingly, the more I released into the new territory of movement, the more organic and fluid the movement became…and the more exciting and fun!  I discovered physical range I hadn’t appreciated before.

Synchronistically, as I chewed on this post, I looked out on the tempest-tossed marsh and spotted three deer bolting from the land and into the flooded expanse.  First, they ran and leapt, and then must have dropped unexpectedly into a deep rivulet.  Suddenly, and seamlessly, they transitioned into swimming.

By leaving the narrow peninsula and swiftly adapting to the unknown conditions, they successfully traversed the waters. They gained a broader expanse of land and headed off to more possibility for food and shelter.

The lesson for me, again, always: The more facility we develop in opening to fresh ways of being, the more possibility and vitality we cultivate.  And the more fun we can relish along the way :).

Top photo courtesy of Nikki Carrara © 2016








This entry was posted in Creativity, Dance, Inspiration, Mindful, possibility and expansiveness and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Embracing The Unfamiliar: Life Lessons From Dancing

  1. So much wisdom in the post!

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