Opening My Mind

This past weekend I took four workshops with Aerial Amy and I learned tones.

The first workshop was “Floor work and Fluidity”. I was the most nervous for this one as I suck at being graceful. That is to say, I don’t try to be. I have always found floor work to be extremely awkward and rarely “practice” it.

But what I learned from Amy will forever change that. Her words of motivation were simple “your style of dancing is just that; your style. The same moves I do may look like shit on you and vice versa”. She proceeded to teach us floor moves, most of which I had seen before but many of which I had never put my body through. Afterwards, she made us dance for each other. That’s right; she put on music, split the group in two, and made us close our eyes to perform eight minutes straight of floor work.

By forcing me to perform that which I hate, I learned that I don’t really hate it all that much. If you shut your brain off and stop analyzing which moves should come next, what you create is beautiful. And not because it’s some “new concept” that no one has ever seen before, but because it looks graceful on your body. When you stop over thinking the movement, you look a lot less awkward.

It wasn’t until then end of the eight minutes that I really started to let go. That I realized it didn’t matter if I looked like an idiot, we were all there for the same reason; to learn.

And learn I did! While the fluidity workshop was by far the most self revealing I learned a lot about my pole skills. The biggest is that I flat out suck at using spin pole. But while I may have made an ass out of myself – on numerous moves- there is something truly inspirational about being in a room full of strangers with a common goal. You bond, you help each other and most importantly, you celebrate each others achievements and successes.

When I left on Saturday my body was screaming. I was sore, bruised, burned (that’s right, my hands were rubbed raw from dancing all day) and exhausted, but my mind was in over drive. Obviously I wanted to go home and play with all the new tricks and tips I had learned, but it was more than that. I was inspired by other dancers, impressed at their dedication and motivated to keep going.

It’s a surreal feeling being in a room with so many dancers. Each of us has our own backgrounds, dancing styles, technique beliefs and systems But for one day we all united together with one common goal: to improve, and that we did.

If you ever get the chance to attend a workshop by Aerial Amy, I recommend it. She is graceful on the pole and down-to-earth off of it. She truly wants to help you succeed and share her tips and tricks. It was well worth the money, bruises, burns and exhaustion to spend a day learning from her.

 

Keep dancing 🙂