How good are you at following instructions? Do you go crazy when your routine goes topsy-turvy? What resources might you bring to your family or community as a dancer when faced with an unprecedented situation?
Face it, you and I are both dealing with something far more serious and unusual than anything any of us have ever been through. The shared reality that we both enjoyed just a few short weeks ago is gone and likely to never be quite the same. That sound you hear? All of our assumptions flying out the window.
For folks like me whose job it is to be upbeat and positive all the time are having a tough time with this one. I can only imagine what the comedy writers for “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” are going through right now.
So I’m not going to throw around platitudes or tell you there’s some “opportunity” in it for you. The scale of this crisis is mind-boggling, yet the means for getting through it safely are on a personal level.
This is when your wisdom of the body, gained through your years of intentionally putting your body in motion becomes a valuable resource. More than that, if you’ve spent much time in a conscious dance container, you have an understanding of shared agreements and intentional social constructs.
You never really think about how many times in an average day you might touch or be touched by another person. Or how many surfaces we make contact with on a given day that other people have too. What it’s like to intentionally keep at least three to six feet of distance between you and everyone else at all times.
So society at large is suddenly experiencing on a macro scale what you may already know from participating in smaller scale somatic movement groups. A ‘container’ could be defined as a social space where shared agreements and intentional protocols are practiced. Humanity’s dance with this virus has made our entire world one big container.
And one thing you’ve probably noticed is that when it comes to holding a safe container, not everyone is on the same page. It’s a consciousness-raising behavior to help those who don’t get it upshift their actions for the greater good of the group. That’s where your insight as a movement person becomes a valuable asset.
One thing I read this week in my hours of devouring news and opinion stuck with me and applies to our greater conscious dance community. The person was pointing out how there’s a tendency online for people to be looking for the “best expert.” And sure, if you’re really nerding out on the finer points of epidemiology and hard science, then yes, the details of someone’s academic background might matter.
But there’s plenty of scientists and doctors who are deep in the weeds about the nasty nuances of this bug. What’s far more important, and crucial to our collective survival at the moment, is that as many of us as possible, as soon as possible, become ‘experts’ in the basics of preventing the spread of the virus.
Educating skeptical folks about the importance of social distancing. Teaching kids the right way to wash their hands. Modeling proper behavior around greetings and interpersonal interactions. Engaging people on the overall gravity of the situation and best practices to manage it. Holding space for our friends, families, and loved ones when they are grieving or suffering. In other words; facilitating our collective way through this pandemic.
It’s up to each of us to become our own little small scale experts. We have to get really good at following and modeling the ‘shared agreements’ that the ‘coronavirus container’ is demanding of us. It’s a dance unlike any we have ever stepped into, but as dancers we have the unique ability to gently and safely help those around us learn the ground rules.
Teaching your world the art of “Non-Contact Improv” probably wasn’t on your to-do list this spring, but here we are. And while we are wise to keep our distance physically, we need to connect now more than ever. So make that call to your distant relative, send that email that reconnects you with an old friend, and reach out to your network by whatever virtual channels you have at hand.
For my part, I want to contribute something that will help the conscious dance community navigate these uncharted waters. One of the big questions I see going around at the moment is how to hold classes, lead groups, or work with clients online. So I’ll be hosting an informative roundtable online for you and our Dance First members this coming Wednesday at 12 noon PST.
I’m also streaming a live DJ set every Friday night since Dance Jam is on hiatus. Join me for a journey through my vinyl collection and let me know in the chat how your socially distant dance is going.
The new normal is anything but. Hang in there and do the best you can, and let me know if there’s anything I can do to help. Till we share a floor again, I’ll see you online!
Much love and all my best.
Director of the Dance First Association
Publisher of Conscious Dancer Magazine
This week’s Dance First Member Spotlight shines on Adam Barley and ZeroOne. Adam blends the core concepts of Euler’s Mathematical Identity and transformative practice into a unique blend of science and spirituality. His extensive 5Rhythms practice, underpinned by mathematical understanding, integrates meaning into movement and focuses on an understanding of human nature and collective evolution.
ZeroOne is a movement meditation practice for both individual and collective empowerment. Participants are encouraged to move freely and be at home in their bodies through discovering mindful movement. Each experience is a personal discovery and an exploration of emotional expression and embodiment. Particular focus is placed on accessing your natural birthright to create a life path in every moment.
Even the “ZeroOne” name is rooted in mathematical and spiritual balance, finding harmony in the dichotomy of the natural world. Concepts like “movement-stillness”, “life-death”, and “body-breath” are explored as two halves of the same whole through active consideration and movement. Each ZeroOne participant is encouraged to engage with this dichotomy using a combination of kinaesthetic, emotional, creative, intuitive and intellectual techniques.
Adam himself acts as a guide during ZeroOne meetings, facilitating a spiritual understanding of the mathematical harmony and balance in each attendant’s life and in the world around them. He has touched the lives of many movement members through his numerous workshops and hands-on applications of the ZeroOne philosophy:
“I felt a force which came through my vulnerability, which brought a soft kind of love, and gratefulness.” -Jeanette, Tax Officer
“This is really something. Movement practice meets Non-Duality.” -Ben, Leadership Trainer
Adam hosts Zero One workshops around the globe. His next class, InZero, runs from March 20th-22nd in Sydney, Australia. InZero is an opportunity to reset in the face of the fires and floods that have ravaged Australia over the past few months. It focuses on movement practice as a way to find your ground, centre yourself, and connect to the human scale of the world around you. It encourages participants to embrace the personal and the collective in a way that can bring healing and connection.
For American attendants, Adam’s The Man, The Boy, and The Beast workshop takes place from May 15th-17th in Boulder, CO. This workshop focuses on dealing with internal forces that can feel out of control and the relationship between power and innocence. It uses the transformative power of movement to discover our hidden selves and integrate both the childish and beastly aspects of our psyche into a healthy, honest version of our true nature.
To find events in your area or to learn more about Adam and ZeroOne, please click here.