Thursday, February 11, 2010

class tonight

Very late. Just got home from teaching dance class.

It's a very interesting thing, this work we do. We do teach people dance moves, but that isn't really what it's all about. Most of what we teach has to do with body alignment and how to use our skeletal structures to release patterns of muscular holding, so that we can be dancers (rather than just folks to take a dance class). We also teach some wonderful exercises and techniques for making our movements more full. More rich. Fulfilled. Complete.

It's like our students (and ourselves) have toolboxes, and we as teachers help load the boxes up with tools that can be pulled out as needed when dancing or performing (or anything else probably--walking down the street, comes to mind). The key to all this toolbox stuff though, is that one needs to be aware at any (and every) given moment, about what is going on with oneself, and which tool could be used to enhance the experience.

It's about being present. It's about being aware. It's about trusting that if you want to tweak something or drop into something more deeply, that you know what is needed. And then it's about actually being responsible for yourself and doing what is needed.

Kinda doesn't even sound like I am talking about dance anymore, to some of you maybe. LOL

It's funny to me how hard it is to articulate this stuff outside of class but how I am (almost always) able to successfully communicate this while I am actually doing the teaching. I swear, it is channeled or something. Maybe I open my mouth and my dance teacher crosses over from the other side, gets into my head, and I am just speaking her words. Maybe it's that I turn off my head and my own inner wisdom speaks. I dunno. Whatever. It's pretty great though, because at the same time I share with my students, I still teach myself.


ginaknits said...

Wow! I tutor/teach math and stats the same way. I'm always telling my students they are filling their toolbox with tools and skills that will be useful well beyond the class. As a fellow dancer, I know firsthand that the alignment, skills, and confidence one gets thru dance go far beyond the studio.

~Donna~ said...

Exactly! :) That is what I get out of a good class and a good teacher.