Every now and then, I come across a person that I get a smitten with.
Their writing, ideas, art, creativity and basically their guts to do what they love, go for it, and never look back. I’ve met a lot of these people and am blessed to have them in my many circles of friends, colleagues, mentors. And then there are those that you have yet to meet, but really would like to. This guy, David Zambrano, is one of them.
I was introduced to him (virtually of course), by another who I am smitten (and friends) with, Elia Mrak.
Let me first start this story with Elia. Elia and I met rather serendipitously while I was wandering along the I-5 this past Summer (purposeful wandering of course!). I was in Seattle looking after a friends feline companions and got an email saying that I should come down to Club Zum to join in on a semi-private breakdancing class. Huh? You serious? So I did. Rather hesitatingly. Elia was teaching, and what I became smitten with wasn’t so much the ‘content’ of the class (although it was pretty damn fun, challenging, and a workout!), but the style of teaching and the very similar taste to how I see human learning, movement, and “How to teach such things”. Elia was teaching the same stuff I teach, but with different content, yet same at the same time. Still with me?
Then, after many emails, a hurried coffee date, and a greasy breakfast at the Alki Cafe, I learned that Elia was mentored and has been highly influenced by David Zambrano. I finally had a chance to spend a whole evening with Elia in my hometown of Whistler, cooking and chatting about “everything”, but much to do about movement and learning. We geek out on the same things. After this, I decided to look at this mentor of his – Zambrano – a little more, and well, what I’ve discovered is that he bears such similar resemblance to the figure that has mentored my way of teaching movement and learning. That figure would be Moshe Feldenkrais. You see, Zambrano, just like Feldenkrais, was injured at a young age, and basically (just like Feldenkrais), taught himself how to move again, and get back to full function by exploring, being curious about movement, the evolution and development of movement, learning from other sources, and then repeat.
“When David Zambrano started dancing professionally at age 21, he threw himself into it fully. So fully, that he eventually damaged his middle arches and could not stand up on his own for six months. Instead of letting this derail his very young dance career, he used it to develop a technique that he now teaches worldwide. Hobbling around University on crutches, Zambrano never stopped moving. He would go to the gym and roll around the mats like a reptile everyday, gaining strength in his arches and examining his relationship to the ground, the earth. Next to him in the gym everyday were a Brazilian jump roper and an old Kung Fu master. By observing this stark contrast of fast and slow, Zambrano incorporated speed into the exercises that eventually got him back on his feet and healthy again.”
You can read more about his unique technique called “Flying Low” on his website.
Why I am writing about these two men who I am smitten with?
Firstly, it’s been a while since I’ve written a piece for my “Smitten-With: People, books, blogs, articles etc.“-blog Feature, but more importantly because “The Flying Low Dance Technique” will be visiting my hometown of Whistler this mid-June. I’ll be hosting the weekend workshop and if you are in Whistler, consider reserving that weekend for some stunning fun and very ‘good-for-you’ movement. Currently Elia and a troupe of 49 other dancers are touring the USA doing performances and workshops around Zambrano’s work.
You can check out the other cities they’ll be visiting at their 50collective website HERE.
Keep my updates on your radar!!!
Thanks for reading and watching, Irene.