Monday, May 11, 2009

How dancers in a sports hall can make you cry

I am still exhausted and at that stage when I don’t know whether to laugh, cry or maim people. Travelling does 2 things very quickly – lets you know that ‘soul-enriching’ means equal doses tough and blessed times and 2. It pulls out all that you have suppressed. When you travel you can run away from a lot of things but you can’t run away from yourself.

Last Sunday I went to a dance festival in Nelson. 200-300 people had gathered in Nelson’s sports hall to watch a variety of dance performances. I sat down with the weakest tea I had ever drunk (a spoonful of brewed tea topped up with plain hot water – I watched her do it) and a poorly labelled carb item (they said it was a scone. It wasn’t. Lord knows what it was beyond a tasteless stodgy lump of mattress foam). A group of children came running out in cerise pink tutus to be greeted by their cheering and clapping dance mums. I inched down in my seat to grab my bag for a fast exit. I felt like a reluctant attendee at a school performance but in the name of education and a wee bit of travel writing I decided to stay observe the local life. It only cost $2 after all.

After a while as the acts progressed through both ages and styles I found myself not only enjoying it but experiencing something strange that I still don’t fully understand. I said once to the personal development master, Dr John Demartini, that the tears of inspiration guide you Home. With life being the way it is though they don’t come with an instruction manual or a map. I think I experienced one of those moments for when I watched the ballet and the contemporary performance with the adult dancers I started to cry. It unlocked a nameless but emotion full box in me which then let all its dark creatures out. I watched the dancers move with such joy, freedom and trust in their physical bodies that I really began to envy them. I realised how long I had felt separate from my body. I watched them leap, twirl and spin with certainty, creativity and expression and I felt a real grief. I wondered if I had ever got that trust and joy in my body back after I fell sick and I realised with shock and sadness I hadn’t. I had spent years focusing on my mind and growing money but little on the dormant potential in my body.

I had always danced from the age of 3 but due to one highly pressured dance school after another Mum decided to pull me out. For years I didn’t dance until my late teens when I started evening classes. 3 years after that however I was in a wheelchair and then sick for nearly a decade. During this time I danced in my head to calm myself in what I have since learned were deep meditations. I have been better for a while but now I am wondering if the life I have been building is really for me. I am wondering if I walked into the shop of life as soon as I felt better and just grabbed the first thing off the rail that felt like it fitted and suited and if there isn’t something that is a better fit elsewhere. I am not saying I don’t love what I do because I do. I am just saying I am not sure it’s the best fit. What would fit instead I couldn’t say either. And coming from a life coach that is not just a real statement of honesty but rather scary. Still we are coaches and teachers because we have the most to learn and have chosen the path of greatest discovery.

My friend Miguel (salutations if you are reading this Miguel) offers metaphysical guidance with the gentleness of being hit around the back of the head with a plank of wood. When I told him what happened between me and the Man I got a text that night that said ‘learn baby learn, he was just a tool to your greater purpose and reason for being there.’ Whilst knowing the wisdom of that text and hearing its truth I sulked because I wanted to talk about various methods of impaling the Man at that point. Now goddamit I may have to tell him he’s right in a bigger way than either of us first thought. And the last thing this trip is related to is the Man.

As a side note the youth dancers of Star Dance Academy were amazing and I spoke to their leader afterwards. Like Harry Singha (the 2 should talk) Stayz is empowering the children and young people and training them for their future. He doesn’t just teach them to dance. They do community work, confidence building activities and the older ones are trained to lead. The academy stretches as far as Sydney Australia. Their motto is that they may not be the best dancers [if not the best I thought bloody good] but they have the best time doing it. And that was really obvious. Fearless and vibrant with infection rather than perfection as a mission; this little army of positivity rocked the hall. Dream it, dance it, do it and they say.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Jayno,

    I can identify with your statement that "When you travel you can run away from a lot of things but you can’t run away from yourself". It's incredibly enlightening learning exactly what you are running away from and what is inside yourself. It helps to isolate the things inside yourself that you are happy with and those that you aren't, and hence those needing improvement (this is my perspective, I don't intend to cast aspersions). If and when you return to the UK, try to remember those things as they quickly blend back in to the effects of every day life, though I'm sure there will be things you learn about yourself that you will never forget!

    Hope all is well and you're enjoying as much as possible!