I wrote a piece a while back that featured the founder of Contact Dance Improvisation speaking his truths about human movement. This video shows a room of contact dancers ‘playing’ the way they play, and they have a very brave and young participant too! Check it out and keep reading….
Child’s Play and The Void
So often we coddle and “baby” our kids, telling them things like, “that’s dangerous”…..”be careful”…..”you’ll hurt yourself”.
These statements, over time (can) make it such that a new little human being starts to distrust their own instincts and movement skills.
I’ve watched many infants crawl to ledges of staircases and various drop-offs, and if you let them sense the void and distance below them, they’ll back off.
Of course there are moments in an infant’s development when you need to set a few boundaries and offer a little guidance, but more often than not, kids, infants especially, can sense danger. They feel it in their insides. Their guts tell them when something isn’t safe.
For us adults, letting our younger counter-parts grow this invaluable gut instinct is essential.
As adults, we need to re-kindle and re-awaken this part of us.
Adult Play and The Void
For the past 4 weeks I’ve been teaching a class for Whistler locals to prepare them for ski season.
One of the exercises we do each class is learning how to find, what I like to call “Potent Posture“.
Then, we take it one very important step further and I get them to lose their posture by falling out of it. I get them to fall forward, backward, side-ways and all the in between’s. I want them to be okay with losing a little bit of control and balance and then trusting that their feet and body will be there to catch them.
At first people were shy in their play around this exercise. After all, our brain’s main job is to protect ‘it’, and having this very important piece of our functioning go plummeting to the ground, if unfamiliar, can render a person to be a tad bit cautious.
By the third class, people were letting loose and really giving into that void that exist between their head and the ground.
A trust grew between their past scripts of “what is safe for me” and maybe “dangerous”, and what their body is truly capable of doing.
The void need not be feared, just teased with a little, and when this happens all those little voices in our heads that hijack us and tell us that something is impossible or potentially harmful, start to subside, leaving us with nothing but our body, our movement and all the resiliency contained within.
to be continued….Irene.
special thanks to my good friend Elia Mrak who sent me this youtube clip. He knew I’d like it – and I do!