Monday, July 24, 2006

Bates Dance Festival, Young Dancers Workshop

For the last two weeks, I've been back in my hometown of Lewiston, Maine, teaching at the Bates Dance Festival's Young Dancers Workshop. There were so many highlights I could be writing for another two weeks putting them all into words.

Aside from spending a concentrated amount of time with talented dance artists, seeing incredible dancing and getting filled to the rim with new ideas, not to mention making some wonderful friendships that I know will last my entire life long, I got to teach some really wonderfully talented young dancers.

I became a dancer because of the Bates Dance Festival. I attended the very first festival in 1983 before heading off to college. Since then, I've attended a number of times as a student and now 24 years later, I return as a teacher. It's been a fantastic journey and to come full circle in this way was beautifully fulfilling.

Teaching improvisation to these inspired youth is indeed a privilege. Showing them the way their mind works and the mind body relationship. Introducing nonattachment and the portals into the present moment. Bringing their bodies in contact in such a way that allows them to experience the infinite source of creativity that lies within each of them. To show the way in which to access that source and allow it to play through the body.

This is dance on a deep level. It can't be seen in a mirror. It is best when it is felt and honored as a feeling, an experience of continual creativity. It is manifest as an everchanging dance that is a surprise, a ride and a time bending trip.

Each of them felt their inner landscape, some for the very first time and some moved so deeply as to be forever changed. Planting seeds of awakening consciousness through dance is my raison d'etre, my reason of being. When I get the chance to do just that, I'm a very happy man.


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