Dance Guidelines

The heart & soul of Movement Medicine is the Dance…a place where we can start to break up the old stories lodged in our heads and bodies (both literally and metaphorically) so we can get Moving – in all ways possible.  In order for this to happen, I am asking for these:

COMMUNITY AGREEMENTS
* A
return to the Orgasmic life that created us ALL through play, pleasure and passion.
* A ruthless commitment to the Sanctity of Safety ~ between our self and ourselves.  Have those difficult conversation (outside the dance space if needed)
* Creating a place where ALL are welcomed just as they are, wherever they are on this journey – with a creative eye for the collective safety where needed.
* SLOW DOWN. Discern the deep inner Movement of the Orgasmic life force that has and is creating us moment by moment.  When you meet your Self or the Other on the floor, instead of rushing in – how slow can you go?  What do you notice, feel inside and between the space…in that pause of external movement? 
* Try on different masks in a playful spirit to discover more of your true Self.  If this involves an Other, please be in tune with their body language to ensure you have permission.
* Allow our body language to once again speak to our self and to the Other(s). How could I hold my body or dance my dance to communicate to both my Self and the Other of where  I am “at” right now, in this moment?
* Openly explore our boundaries with curiosity and much room for getting it “wrong”.  For we often don’t know where we end until we cross the boundary of the Other.  And we often don’t know where we NEED to end until we have gone too far. AND…by slowing down FIRST and listening within – we will often have a better idea of how we are arriving in this moment.
* Openly acknowledge Gender, Sister & Brother Shadows exist (see below).  Instead of making excuses or hiding that the Shadow between the genders exists, how can we dance in such a way as to keep the excitement of this interplay active yet be safe, real and conscious of this Shadow Dance? Or if you are completely intimated by the Other, how can you dance in such a way as to feel more safe inside of You, more free?
Much more to come on this one – especially in our Workshop: Spring into Safety.

KEEPING OUR COMMUNITY SAFE:
In short, dancing opens us and our bodies up to the Other in many ways. After spending so much of our lives in our heads, this often feels exciting, new and and GOOOOOD. This can make us more attractive to Others…

This can also make us more vulnerable and susceptible to acting “out of our character” or “going too fast” and finding ourselves in potentially painful situations with our community members.

This is often even more true, but not limited, to the area of interplay in regards to our libidos, regardless of gender preferences.  We often might feel things in the Dance space we might not feel as we rush about our daily lives, and often feel them with more intensity, passion, desire.  As we then pull in our individual Shadows, boundaries can easily be crossed by an Other – or willingly together – creating explosive energy that can be both fun and not so fun…always powerful.

As a Space holder, I want and desire for Movement Medicine Spaces to be a space where this part of safety is explicitly talked about – with love and compassion for all sides.  I will not accept the Gender Slandering this often becomes from either side in this exploration.  Instead I will challenge us all to open our hearts and our stories to finding a new way – so we may heal.

Here is what I offer from my own experience to start with:

ON THE DANCE FLOOR
If you are not open to dancing with Other:
* prayer hands at the chest and a bow of the head;
* shaking of the head, turning the back or moving away
* a mouthed “No thank you!” and even a stiff response to the Other can be used if needed.

If you see an Other you would like to dance with:
* Slowly approach their space
* Look for eye contact or at the very least see if they reach out to you.
* If you touch them and they seem surprised/startled, give them some space and wait to see if you are invited in further.
* Allow their body to speak to you – you will remember how this language works!

Either party has the right to end the dance at any point, with no expectations for anything further.
* If someones’ touch stops feeling good at any point, you have the right/permission to kindly let them know the dance is over (see above) and move away.
* You have permission to say “NO” or “Stop” and recruit help
* If you feel led, please share with me any difficulties you are having and we will work together to move towards resolution in creative, out-of-the-box ways keeping in mind the safety of individuals as well as the collective.

OFF THE DANCE FLOOR
If you feel a SPARK or more on the dance floor, here are some suggestions to keep your Self safe:
* GO SLOW.
* Check in with the Other you felt the spark with and have an open and honest conversation about what you felt and whether you want to keep it on the Dance floor or explore it further off the dance floor.
* If you do not know this person, take your time getting to know him/her.  Ask others in the community about this person – not for gossip, but for reality and character checks.
* ACTIONS, not words, show the truth of a person.

OTHER NEEDED SHTUFF TO MENTION:

Parking
* There is limited parking behind the studio.
* Please only park in spots labeled “Menlo Pilates”
* Plenty of FREE parking in city lots and streets

Entering & Arriving
*
ONLY enter in the Rear of the building
* Check in & sign a waiver in the lobby
* Take a moment to transition from this world into the next
* There are spots for shoes and personal items inside
* Please leave your words out here in the lobby unless otherwise invited on the floor

Inside
* Please leave your words out here in the lobby unless otherwise invited on the floor (yes said again :-).  
* Please commit to practicing the lost art of Body/Embodied Language
* Grunts, howls, hoots, wails and other sounds ARE INVITED & Welcomed – we store much energy in our system that can only come out through our own sounds.
* Please dance with abandon and with respect of other’s personal space

There are mirrors.  Instead of shunning them, I invite us to consider:

+ How can I use these to enhance my experience?
+ To make peace with my body, the way I move?
+ How can I use these reflections to grow in my self-acceptance?
+ How can I grow my awareness of myself through the reflections of my sisters & brothers?

If you need anything, please reach out to me!