One of my missions in KamaSalsa is to reach out to people of all demographics and help them express themselves through dance. The chance came to me when Stacy Sims, Creator of The True Body Project and Owner of Pendleton Pilates asked me to teach a group of teenage girls who were brought together to learn about body image and find their authentic voices through music, movement, writing and theatre. This was in 2007, now three years later, I teach on a seasonal basis to women of all ages who come together for the open classes like the one on March 3rd at the Downtown Pendleton location.
The class starts with everyone sitting in a circle and listening to the True Body Constitution: We Believe in Breathing, We Believe in being a mother to all, We believe in healing ourselves through mind, body and spirit……. I’m always struck by the beautiful individuality of each woman with their unique presence and gifts to share. We start off by writing. This time it is about being good or bad which made me immediately go back to the power of dance and how we open ourselves up to the good and bad in each of us.
The good and bad of dancing can be taken literally like: “Wow! She is a good dancer!” or the bad- “Stay away from that guy…he can’t lead.” The other side of good/bad which comes from our emotion and expression. It’s about rules(the good) and breaking them, too (the bad). We have to learn the rules to communicate the movement and know the lead and follow. The bad comes from expressing who we are as individuals and not getting so caught up in the mechanics. The balance brings out the true joy of movement..allowing each dancer to be connect, breath, be empowered.. be honest….and never forget how to laugh along the way.
Thanks to my friend Stacy for her vision. Thanks to all of the students who allow themselves to be free and know the balance of being good and bad at the same time. Check out the True Body Project at www.thetruebodyproject.org.