One of the most common questions coming from dancers, whether newbies or seasoned polers, is “how do I get to be more fluid?”
For me, the answer is always the same: be thoughtful in your in-betweens.
|— Martha Graham, Dancer
Celebrate the miracle of the in-betweens. Don’t shortchange them! The #findingyourfreestyle
movement has been encouraging dancers to do this with challenges like “dance your climbs” and “dance your descents” and I applaud them for it. Transitions are what sew a dance together–how your head leads you from this move to that one. How a weight shift allows you to flow seamlessly from Point A to Point B.
On Instagram, we asked pole dancers to tell us #whyipole and so many of the responses have to do with exploring ourselves, our passions, what our physical bodies are capable of.
I have watched hundreds, maybe thousands (don’t judge!), of dance videos, both pole and non-pole. The ones that stick with me are not necessarily those that are technically perfect or filled to the brim with BIGNESS.
The ones that follow me, that haunt me, that I think about during quiet times, are the ones that provoke me to experience something with the dancer. For three minutes, my heart beats with the dancer’s heart. I feel the floor underneath the dancer’s feet. In those three minutes, I understand them, because I am them.
This power to make me feel so deeply comes not because of a flawless iron x . . . but because of the nuances of movement of hand and foot.
The tilt of a head.
None of these things have much to do with big movements or tricks or poses. They are not shouts, though big explosive movements are mesmerizing in their own ways.
No, what holds me spellbound me are the whispers from a dancer who says “listen to this, I am going to tell you something incredible!” And I inch closer, I lean in.
I want to hear what they want to tell me.
I want to hear the catch of breath before the shout. The sigh of new love.
I want to see the smile of afterglow. The heavy shoulders of loss.
The challenge I must constantly issue to myself is to continue expressing myself through transitions rather than relying on the big movements to express something for me. The in-betweens tell a story that is only for me to know. And when I dance, my
in-betweens tell a story that is mine and mine alone to tell.
What story do your in-betweens tell?