On Movement

When people think of dance they usually think of a certain structure, of choreography, of a time and a place and a ‘look’ that society has assigned to this thing we call ‘art.’ We are conditioned to think of it in this one narrow way, the way we are conditioned with anything else, internalizing our own society’s painfully specific representation of that which is movement.

When it comes to physical gesture and embodiment, we begin to think that any deviation from this ‘look’ is ‘ugly’ or ‘ungraceful.’  I’m ungraceful, we say, I can’t dance. However, that benchmark structure against which we are comparing our own physical gesture was created by somebody, in his or her body through movement that felt subjectively good. And just like an outfit might fit one person, you trying to adapt what worked for somebody else is like trying to wear a stolen outfit. It may work for your body, it may not. And whether is does or not doesn’t really matter.

I think that healing and empowerment through movement can come through through a dismissal of these arbitrary benchmarks and structures, this idea of falling out from under your brain and just moving. Moving the way your body wants to move and express itself without the rigid mindful skeleton of what looks good or what someone else told you to do, or what you’ve learned is ‘graceful’ or ‘attractive.’ Every single body is different. The body can create its own gesture of healing when given freedom of movement expression.

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