This week’s Dance First Member Spotlight is on Fred Sugerman and Medicine Dance!
After playing The Wheel by Snowpoet and Keep Breathing by Ingrid Michaelson (hot tips, here, Relatives, if you do not know these tunes) at the beginning of a session with a client this morning, we paused. I asked, as I do, “Is there anything you are noticing or that occurred for you while you were moving?” Two words emerged: “content” and “faith.”
I asked if they would be willing to feel the faith. “Where in your body can you feel faith in this present moment? What does it feel like?”
Jackpot! All this led to a rich and revealing share. And, out of the ethers, spontaneously and miraculously, was born my newest favorite phrase: Faith Feeling.
As an adolescent and into high school, my friends knew me to say, “Keep the Faith!” I had a buddy named Dean Martino, who I really looked up to in 7th and 8th grade, who used to say it con gusto. I did not really understand what it meant, but the way he said it conveyed everything. When he died early on in 10th grade, I took it on.
What is faith? Where can I find it, where do I find it, how do I find it, and re-find it and re-find it, and re-find it?
For me, this is what these times have brought up. Who am I? Why am I? Etcetera.
There has been so much distraction, so much outer chaos. Intensity. Divisiveness. Mean-spirited conversations and contradictory truths. I have found it more challenging to pause, feel, move, still, breathe, express freely and spontaneously – namely, the elements of my physical practice/dance.
RE-ENTRY? Return to in-person intimate physical contact and group sweating breathing physical celebrating? I am ambivalent. Not-
knowing. One more layer of the primary feeling of this time, for me: NOT-KNOWING.
Back to “Faith Feeling.”
I found my building blocks of faith largely through moving and feeling – aka, the Dance. I started forming these building blocks with my first 5 Rhythms experience in Phoenix, AZ, deepened them through years of study with my beloved friend and teacher, Mariane Karou, and expanded them during twenty-something years of creating and delivering Medicine Dance.
I formed and solidified a sense of well-being, self-intimacy, and connection, a gentle and kind way of beholding my body, and a knowing that all sentient beings, including, but not extolling, two-leggeds – are sacred.
I love the fact that our shared interest, conscious dance (shout out to Mark Metz, who has popularized this umbrella moniker of what we all do in some form or other), calls in a sense of source; a sense of connection with mystery that transcends our size and ability to understand; calls in what the major religions of the world initially intended. The part of the brain that feels sensation, the felt-sense center of our brain, is often also identified as the “God(dess)-center” by more and more scientists (see below*).
I have faith. I can feel it. I love the way it feels. And I am forever grateful that you might know, or sense, what I am talking about.
My name is Fred Sugerman.
*1) The parietal lobes are located near the back and top of the head. They are important for processing and interpreting somatosensory input. E.g., they inform us about objects in our external environment through touch (i.e., physical contact with skin) and about the position and movement of our body parts (proprioception)…” https://www.physio-pedia.com/Parietal_Lobe
2) “Yale scientists have identified a possible neurobiological home for the spiritual experience — the sense of connection to something greater than oneself. “Activity in the parietal cortex, an area of the brain involved in awareness of self and others as well as attention processing, seems to be a common element among individuals who have experienced a variety of spiritual experiences.” – https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180601170056.htm
Medicine Dance currently offers weekly classes on zoom Tuesday and Saturday mornings and Wednesday evenings (Pacific Time). Fred works individually with clients online.
For more information about monthly workshops and immersion programs in Los Angeles, Hawaii, and the UK, go to https://medicinedance.com. Or contact us at 818.337.9614 or email@example.com.
If you are a long-time movement practitioner and would like to peek at our facilitation laboratory online in October: