Saturday, March 28, 2015

Jazz Hands

The other day, in the middle of dancing a song, I made a mistake and mixed up the choreography for the chorus with that of the verse.  I realized after a few counts that I had done this and felt a little nonplussed, so I decided to just do “jazz hands” until I could catch up with the chorus at the right place.  I might note here that every single person in the class (other than me) was dancing the choreography in all the right places!
“Jazz hands” are defined by the Urban Dictionary this way: “The move is performed by tilting the head slightly, shimmering the hands with fingers splayed either side of the face and crying "Jazz hands!" with an enthusiastic smile. Think Jack from Will and Grace.”
I experience many embarrassing moments.  They seem to follow me around like mischievous children looking for something to do.  

After this class, I thought that jazz hands are a really good segue for any awkward moment.  Of course, it could also make an awkward moment more awkward, but why not just go for it – how much worse could it get?
So here’s what I’m thinking:
I’m in a situation where I’ve forgotten what I’m saying mid-sentence: jazz hands.
I just have nothing to say and am drawing a blank: jazz hands.
Someone has said something to me that has made me angry and I don’t want to respond in kind –yes, jazz hands.
And, my favorite, I’ve totally forgotten the choreography in the middle of a dance class -- you got it -- jazz hands.
The bottom line is this: I’m going to try it.  Will it cover up my senior moments?  Dunno.  I will try to remember not to do it while having an embarrassing moment while on the phone, but I can’t guarantee that will be the case.  (Hmmm, maybe if I just said, “Jazz hands!” that’ll do it.) 

Just know that from now on, you’ll be seeing me waving my hands around a lot.  And if you join me in this social experiment, please let me know how it turns out!  

 Photo by MaryEllen Hendricks

Sunday, March 22, 2015


When dancing or creating choreography, I must consider the space.  Dance is design in the body defined by two frames – the music and the space.  By space I mean the shapes or lines the body makes within the frame of the studio.  The dancer can make herself big, small, expanded or contracted. 
We always have a choice about how we are going to use that space, whether we are choreographing or dancing.
What I’ve observed lately is that our energy and our minds also have “space.”  As I’ve noted before in this blog, I am a champion worrier.  And I notice that when I am fearful, nothing seems to work right.  When I can let go of the fretting, my life works so much better because I am happier.  I am aware of all the good things rather than focusing on what could happen.  

We have a choice as to how we are going to use our inner space, too.  Are we going to be open or closed?  Are we going to clutter our minds with fear, worry and resentment, or are we going to let go of fear and embrace love (which has infinite “space”)?
If you let yourself get quiet, you can feel that focusing on anger, resentment or fear take up space in your energy and narrow your vision.  

When we allow those negatives to remain, we are closing off the possibilities of the good stuff coming to us.  We are allowing the clutter to take up space that could be filled with openness, receptivity and love.  

When we are talking, we cannot listen; when we are worrying, we can’t receive. 

When we let go of our resentments, we drop the weight of fear and open ourselves up to love and all that springs from love.
We have complete control over whether our inner space is clear or closed-off; it is a choice.  We don’t have to do anything but decide that we will let go of the fear.  Once we give ourselves permission to do this, we are wide open to receive all that love can give.  

Take charge of your space and watch what happens.

Photo by MaryEllen Hendricks