As the seasons are turning, it is obvious that the animals are getting ready for surviving the cold temperatures. Who among us has been under a clumsy squirrel who has either dropped, or perhaps purposefully released, a nut? I've been thinking a lot about a pattern that is used in dance technique, one that is called Gather and Scatter.

When we gather, the arms move closer to the core, bringing essential energy towards the center of our person. Scattering--that is just as it sounds, throwing the energy out into the air as the arms circle up, over the head and then glide down to the side, through second position.

When we scatter, what are we really doing? Sharing, planting seeds, returning energy down into the earth. When we gather we are drawing in, re-grouping, re-vamping, building new energy.

As autumn deepens and the trees become more vibrant, enjoy awareness of this classic movement pattern in your daily life and remember, life really is a dance!
Image: from LyraVega. Dancers: Molly McMillan and Fransoir Merriweather. Lighting: Kim Pieske. Costumes: Patty Branum. Set and Choreography: Christina Sears-Etter. 
Spring is here and it's time for new life.

Whether you are dancing for pleasure or to become a professional, it's time to set some goals and enjoy the beautiful warm weather and the energy of the sun.

In Soma Dance Spring Session, I decided we're going to work on a set of diverse goals. These are balance, extension and polyrhythms. Stay tuned for more on how this develops and plays out in our dance program.
...oh and places are still available...The next session begins May 9th!

Pictured: Joy Morris, in "The Dreamer" 2012. Production credit: Steve Joslin. All dance by People Dancing.

Isn't all of Life about beginning again?

We go through cycles. Daily, weekly, monthly, as the wheel of the year rolls around.

Class will begin again this Saturday 4:30-6 pm at Arts in Motion Dance Studio. 6175 Jackson, A2. Look for the Wild Swan Sign!

Personally, I can't wait to see what the new year brings. Each adventure in the studio is new. The dancer can't be separated from the dance.

We come together. We get stronger. We attune to each other. We express authenticity. We bring a little joy and warmth into the cold winter.

See ya there!

snow crystal
Why Snow in August? What do we hold in our memories, of snow, in the midst of a glorious summer? In this process-oriented blog I will describe what we at People Dancing have been working on, both inside and outside the studio. We are working on an ensemble dance, Snow, which more accurately could be described as the memory of snow. Or the phenomenology of snow. What do we hold in our memory, of snow, in the midst of a glorious summer? In what ways do our relationships go through chilly frosts? Have you ever "frosted someone out" or been "frosted out?" That is, isolated by a chilly greeting or a cool projection of distance when bumping into a former friend? In our short dance, snow, we are playing with metaphor and abstraction, real contact and partnering, vulnerability and crisp, defined design.
The still of a winter morning is interrupted today by my cat and some mysterious hijinks. At first I thought my cat, Athena, a gray manx, was chasing a mouse along the border of our sliding glass door. There were some strange noises, a kind of puffing sound that I couldn't believe was a mouse sound.

Later I heard a baleful meow from outside. It seems a gentleman-caller cat, likely Mr. Tom Cat from across the street had come to visit Athena and was frustrated that she was inside the glass. I opened the door to investigate, and let Athena out into the wide black night, full of mystery. She looked after the mystery meow-er, and seemed cautious. She did not go out.

Two paragraphs and what could they possibly have to do with art? Art is life and life is art.

As we sit with the winter's quiet, all kinds of thoughts and inspirations can come to us. We can feel cautious, nervous, overwhelmed. We can know that the freeze of winter is a phase in the circle of life. We can become transfixed and dazzled by the beauty of winter in the North, strange, glittering, swirling billows of snow, icicles appearing like odd crystal gems. We can spiral into the comfort of the home and everyday.

What have you been doing within this winter's quiet?

This is my first blog for People Dancing's site. I'm really excited to share. Serious fun...that's what I say periodically to new-to-dance students. My current students at EMU are just wonderful, all of them, but my Serious Fun comment was made to the elementary ed. class.

Encountering awareness, movement, and creative problem solving for the first time... or anytime! is exciting! Sometimes that excitement errupts into talking and giggles! Because I like to say "Yes," better than I like to say "NO!" I try to coax these college-aged student dancers into quiet focus. I hope the excitement and joy remains when the mouths shut.

Can not speaking communicate more than words do? Is the body a clearer place than the mind? What do we know in our bodies that our mind can mask or obscure? Yet our mind is our body. We all possess body-mind intelligence. This is a fascinating puzzle of living. 

Serious Fun seemed a fitting title for these thoughts... It is my choice to always allow humor and a smile in...I"m smiling at you, now.