This week’s Dance First Member Spotlight is from Adam Barley, UK-based founder of ZeroOne.

Dear dancers,

One of the things I’ve loved about this last year has been the increased amount of time I’ve spent on morning practices of one sort or another. That’s been true for many of us, hasn’t it? I’ve loved the deepened value of home experience and have made that a big part of what I’ve been offering through ZeroOne, with courses specifically aimed at developing the skills needed to make home practice enjoyable and effective.

Paradoxically for a movement practitioner, a much-loved ingredient of that for me has been the wonder of being still.

Having grown up severely depressed, suppressed, and stuck, when I found Gabrielle Roth, the light went on big time. I dropped my sitting meditation and leaped full power into dance. More movement, more expression, more catharsis, more freedom….. all of it, just give me more! It took several decades to realize I was missing something with all that emphasis on action, helped by some mentors who could see me more clearly than I could.

It’s been time to rediscover the beauty of being still without being stuck, and a year of lockdown has been great for that!

In all of the thirty years I was steeped in the world of the 5Rhythms, something about my understanding of the fifth one, Stillness, didn’t quite add up. It wasn’t until I began seeing things differently through the lens of ZeroOne that I had my ah-ha moment.

I’m referring to Presence. ‘The Force’ that all mystics have talked about through the ages: the Stillness inside all movement, the silence behind all sound, and the spaciousness at the core of all experience. I call it the Zero zone, and the alchemical coding of ZeroOne puts it right at the center of things. Zero is everywhere and nowhere, beyond time, in constant interplay with the One creation we are part of.

I started practicing movement and living my days from that perspective, and it’s been like a cornerstone puzzle piece falling into place. A deep sigh of relief, knowing in my bones that I am already home, that there’s nothing to do, and to practice is to remember.

That way, the dance is never over, but that doesn’t mean we are only movement. All is in a constant state of flux, and we are free to take part with one hand resting lightly in the place inside us where nothing is.

So here’s my invitation to you: practice some movement for a few minutes tomorrow morning, with or without music. Begin with a reconnection to that still, silent, spaciousness within you, and let it stay with you through every move. Let any goal-orientation drop away, and revel in what is: the fullness of the One life that you are, woven through with the mystery that is Zero. Value the moments when your body longs to be still; the dance goes on, just more subtly. Let it come, let it go.

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.