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Monday, February 13, 2012

I Am a Dancer

When registering for classes during my first semester at Prescott College, I was overwhelmed by all the interesting classes available. I was particularly curious about the Beginning Dance and Improvisation course. I found myself torn because I loved to dance but was doubtful of the nature of an improvisation class and skeptical to enroll because dance has nothing to do with my major. Thankfully, I took my academic advisor’s advice and enrolled in the class anyways. I could not have made a better decision.
Performing "The Grid" exercise.  We could only move in right angles.

I cannot describe how much I learned throughout the course of dance class. Right from the beginning, my classmates and I were challenged to maintain a deep connection with our bodies. Every class brought on a new challenge whether it was learning to move around the room blindfolded, turning poetry into motion, or mirroring others in their dancing. It was incredible to see our individual movements come to life without being taught any techniques or choreography. We were discovering how to move for ourselves while dancing to our own unique rhythms. Every day I emerged from class feeling great both mentally and physically.

Dancing to live drumming at community lunch.  Everyone could join in!
One of the best feelings that resulted from taking Dance and Improvisation was realizing that I was utilizing principles from class in every day life. I found myself turning to dance as something therapeutic whenever I was stressed. I had less pains and aches because I was more in tune with my body and what I needed to do to better care for it. I had more confidence whenever the urge to dance would come over me and was no longer afraid to be the first person on the dance floor.

Doing a spiral dance in the town square during Halloween
Because dance class allowed for so much in depth discussion and sharing, my classmates and I developed a strong bond. It was very reassuring to be surrounded by people who fully supported one another. I never felt self-conscious dancing in front of my classmates and I was always encouraged to be authentic in my words and movements. As sad as it was to see the class come to an end, I am thankful that we all still keep in touch and continue to have epic dance sessions whenever the moment strikes.
An edit of us in a "Flocking" exercise
There are many things I hope will define me during my time here at Prescott College. For now, I can revel in the fact that amongst everything else, I am a dancer. I will always reflect back at my time in dance class and remember how it allowed me to feed my hunger for creativity, community, self-awareness, and expression. It is that same hunger which allows us to continually grow and evolve into the people we are meant to be. That is the gift that Prescott College gives and I am excited for all of you to take advantage of it.

The whole class after our final performance
~Renee Daniel, 02/2012

2 comments:

Morgoth said...

Ubuntu!!! Dancing is crucial ya?

Morgoth said...

Yesh!!! Ubuntu! Dancing is so crucial. Thrive my friends!