This weeks Dance First Member Insight is from Adam Barley, creator of ZeroOne.

We begin walking around the room, as we’ve done so many times before, finding our feet, getting our bearings, noticing each other. We’re in Nicosia, Cyprus, and many of the dancers here know each other from other workshops, as well as socially.

There’s a strange new atmosphere here, though – an odd mix of familiar practice together and something new that none of us know how to navigate. Some people need to keep their distance, nervous about being here at all; others are longing to get physical with each other. There’s relief and joy at being together again for the first time since last year, but there’s also a simmering frustration, fear, and a whole load of grief.

We are not sure how much eye contact to make, not sure how close to get, not sure what private pain each of us is carrying. The vulnerability is visible in all of us.

Gabrielle Roth taught me that vulnerability is the source of our true power, and she was onto something. A lot unfolded in the following days on that dance floor. By Sunday, a whole new surge of grief was in the room, for the fires that had spread overnight a few miles away in the mountains, burning entire villages. But the strength we got from embracing that and moving with it was astonishing.

These are dangerous times in some surprising ways, but they’re also beautiful times. There’s such a powerful, heartfelt longing for new ways of living together that arise from the death of the old. As so much we care for on this planet gets caught in the slipstream of our desperate, fearful scramble to avoid collapse or death, our grief is going to run deeper and sharper. Still, this grief can be the renewal of our love for life and our determination to make that love an action, not just a feeling.

If you’re overwhelmed with grief, how about letting your body handle it? Turn it into a dance, and a wild cry for life. No need for music, which could slow you down. Your body knows…

Adam Barley is the founder of ZeroOne, a movement practice for personal and collective evolution:

He is offering individual coaching to deepen and sharpen your movement practice and a rolling program of group events that you can find here. You may also find this video on Resources for Troubled Times useful.

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