Sunday, February 26, 2012


To me, dance is magic.  While dancing, the words fall away and I can remember who I am. (And this is true; I often can’t remember words while dancing, as anyone who takes my class knows!)  Dance brings up joy and also buried emotions.  It has gotten me through challenges and it heals my spirit.  It is magic the way dance can bring people together. My parents really seemed in love when they danced together, and I believe those were some of the few moments they really were happy with each other.  Dance allowed them to really “see” one another in a way that was beyond words. 

It was magic.

At the risk of sounding completely childish, I confess that one of my favorite authors is JK Rowling.  There, I said it!  Yes, I love Harry Potter.  I want to BE Harry Potter, or at the very least, Hermione.  I want to enter that world.

I want to go to Hogwarts.

I had a dream where I actually was at Hogwarts and I thought, “What am I doing here? I wish I could do magic!” And then the thought came to me, “I wouldn’t be here if I couldn’t do magic. They wouldn’t have let me come here if I couldn’t do it….….” 

We are all magic.  We are here to do our own brand of magic, or we wouldn’t be here at all. 

What is your magic?

You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t have it.  You know what it is.  You just need to articulate it to yourself. 

Trust it. 

Use it.

You are magic.  

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Coming Around Again

You can “do” a dance, and it will feel okay and maybe look fine. But when you are “doing” you are outside of the process.  “Doing” the dance is not the same as “being” the dance.  When you become the dance, you are infused with the music and the expression of that music through the movement of your body.  Then you are the dance.

There is a wonderful song by Carly Simon about “doing” life while yearning to “be” that life.  Here are some of the lyrics:

“Coming Around Again” by Carly Simon

I know nothing stays the same
But if you’re willing to play the game
It’s coming around again
Don’t mind if I fall apart
There’s more room in a broken heart
And I believe in love
What else can I do?
I’m so in love with you

These words are so emotional and evocative.  There’s sadness here, but also hope.  There’s sadness for what was, along with a hope of renewal or of maybe finding love again.

It’s true that when your heart has been broken, there is more room; more room for compassion, understanding and, maybe, more love.  More love, not only for others, but for yourself.  When your heart is cracked open, all preconceived notions about what love is supposed to look like are thrown out the window and what is left is what’s real:  love.  It’s the only truth.

Sometimes staying steadfast to the belief in love is like hanging on to a piece of driftwood after a shipwreck. You’re not sure if it’s going to take you to shore. If you believe in its power, there’s really no other thing that can happen. You must and will be carried to land.  You’ll be grateful to be alive.  And there’s a different view from that shore. Changing your perception changes what you see and experience. 

I will never forget sitting in my therapist’s office and saying, “I’m out of ideas.  I’ve done everything I can think of, and nothing has helped.”  That is when I let go.  After that, when I realized all my “doing” was not helping, all I could do is focus on “being” love.  My heart had fractured and there was more room in my heart, for others and for myself, too. 

Believe in love.  It’s the only thing that matters.

The lyrics to “Coming Around Again” by Carly Simon:

Baby sneezes
Mommy pleases
Daddy breezes in
So good on paper
So romantic
So bewildering

I know nothin' stays the same
But if you're willin' to play the game
It's comin' around again
So don't mind if I fall apart
There's more room in a broken heart (broken heart)

Pay the grocer
You fix the toaster
You kiss the host goodbye
Then you break a window
Burn the souffle
Scream the lullaby

I know nothin' stays the same
But if you're willin' to play the game
It's comin' around again
So don't mind if I fall apart
There's more room in a broken heart

And I believe in love
But what else can I do
So in love with you

I know nothin' stays the same
But if you're willin' to play the game
It's comin' around again

Sunday, February 12, 2012

For Valentine's Day, or: Infatuation Is Really Underrated

You can dance with someone and really not be in sync.  You can be stepping all over each other.  But, if you really like the person or if this is a romantic relationship, it just doesn’t matter.  You delight in your partner’s goofiness or lack of coordination. 

After you’ve been with your partner for a while, you might feel that dancing together is not so cute anymore.  The stumbling no longer delights you.  It annoys you.

Remember when you met your significant other?  You were so in love that everything that person did and said was wonderful.  This person seemed perfect to you and for you.  It was bliss.

In the beginning of your relationship, you delighted in your partner’s little eccentricities and habits.  You embraced them, thought they were adorable.  Well now they are just irritating.  You sigh and look back at that beginning and think that you were infatuated.  You think that infatuation caused you to see your partner as perfect.  You think your infatuation was a lie, an illusion.

I’ve been through divorces (two) and break-ups (many) and I know that sometimes the relationship just does not work.  Sometimes it’s just hell and you have to get out. Now.

But, if you still love your partner, here’s a thought:  In the beginning, when you saw your partner as perfect and beautiful, that was the truth.  The little, petty annoyances are the illusion and the lie.  At the start of your relationship you saw, with a heightened perception born of real love, who your partner really is underneath the words and the veneer we all have.  That was not just infatuation; your partner’s perfection is the truth.  Your own perfection that lies beneath the words and the mask is also the truth. 

Love propels us to a higher vibration where we can see what’s true. 

That perfection is within us all.  We need only acknowledge it. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Show Yourself

Dance is not really like other forms of movement.  You can spin or do a weight class, but they don’t really require that you show yourself.  In dance, even if no one is watching, you have no choice but to reveal yourself in the movement.  Music is emotional and dance expresses that emotion. 

We are doing a Valentine’s Day party at our studio.  And there are a couple of people who are dancing (on video or live) as a valentine for their significant other.  This is such a show of vulnerability, and vulnerability is an expression of trust. And love.  It is the sweetest thing. 

It makes me think of that phenomenon when a hunted animal shows its jugular to another, and the dominant animal stops attacking.  It’s a surrender and an admission of a truth: “You are physically stronger than I am and I acknowledge that.”  There is no shame in that acknowledgement.  There is real strength.    

I have been in relationships where I have deliberately shown my vulnerability, and I have had to pay for it.  I learned that the price of showing my true self to someone who can’t receive it means humiliation. In that relationship, I thought the best thing would be to lock myself away forever, so no one could see that part of me again.  However, that really doesn’t work if you actually want to have a life that is authentic. 

Have you ever noticed that when you have a negative emotion, airing it in the light of day, to someone you love, completely changes that thought?  Like the thought, “I am jealous,” when you actually express it, it loses its power.  Like a wound, if you cover it up, it can fester.  But if you expose it to light, it heals. When you admit, “I am jealous,” it can seem laughable, but you can also change that jealousy to admiration and maybe even inspiration.

Admitting vulnerability or saying to someone, “I want to show this to you.  I want to dance for you,” is an act of trust and an offering of love.  It is exposing yourself to the light; it is healing.

Let’s learn to really show ourselves to those we love.  It is a gift.  It makes our relationships deeper and it makes us stronger in the truth of who we are. 

Here is a link to and a wonderful talk by Brene Brown about “The Power of Vulnerability.”