Ah! Over here!
Sloppily swimming in a sea of expectations, I find it difficult to access my true self in the world that surrounds me. The expectations begin to wash away my opinions, dreams and ideas while I start to accept other people’s beliefs as my own. Nevertheless, I still have enough resistance to want to escape the tides of torment and go into myself and release my true being free into this world. How must I sort this out? Who am I when I am waiting in the car before my first date? Who am I when I am alone during a thunderstorm with no electricity? I don’t remember!
And so I dance.
I do not go to group fitness classes at the local YMCA. I do not follow steps laid before me. I find an open space. Whether it be in a church basement, community music center room, hallway of a kindergarten school, open field in a park, lobby of a low-traffic theater or an actual dance improvisation class, I do what needs to be done and I dance there. Simply put, I move with or without music the way that I choose to move.
This freeform movement is known as dance improvisation, ecstatic dance or moving meditation; plenty of other titles are associated with it as well. Whatever the name, it is an important aspect of adult play. Generally speaking, this is a solo experience that allows a moving expression of what you are feeling in the moment. It’s about discovering your own way to dance letting your body be the inner guide and teacher. This can potentially help to release stuck patterns in the body, emotions, mind and spirit.
The applications are infinitely delicious and benefit every single person on Earth. Dramatics aside, examples range from senior citizens who have become lonely and long for youthfulness again to dancers that are looking for an escape from regiment. Due to the nature of its personal content, what one person will reap from freeform movement may be drastically different from that of another.
For me, dancing is a natural mode of abstract communication with myself AND others. While dancing, I feel completely free from pressures, judgments and commitments and am able to glide into my true self. Knowledge flows freely and is imported into my brain when I dance. I feel in control, guided by my soul, and I make decisions easily. I am released from the constant knot of anxiety and gifted with pure joy in the form of control, strength, direction, ambition, knowledge and confidence. This joy could be my connection with some sort of divine power. No matter your religious affiliation, I do find the spiritual aspect of the freeform movement quite significant. Dancing lets me access my own senses, let go of external distractions and then partake in powerful movements. This progression allows me to open up and define my strength and place in the outside world. Because human connection is a goal for me, I value that I am able to contribute to society in my special way and not the way of doctrine or cultural normality.
Creativity is the backbone of freeform movement. And contrary to popular belief, every single person has the ability to spark creativity in themselves. The myth that creativity and imagination are only for seven-year olds, writers, and art students is gooey old news. Rather, creativity is about making connections, accepting imperfection and moving forward. For example, I would not call myself a writer. This article won’t be the best one written and may be choppy to read. True. I did draw from different sources of inspiration. Yes. Someone probably already wrote about this topic. But, I was able to get my ideas down on paper thanks to the experience and information that I possess at this point in my life. And so. I can call this my article.
I imagine a way to access your own creativity through freeform movement is to:
1. Stop thinking (or start with step 2).
2. Start moving.
3. Something will happen.
Go ahead. You got this. Something will happen.
About our Guest-Poster:
From the time she was a little girl, JBonn has always been restless with the desire to create beauty by moving. Through her experience of learning what she loves and is passionate about, there has always been one main factor of helping people through movement.
Though not classically trained, JBonn has a background in dance and aerial arts (jazz, expressive, hip hop, lyrical, experimental, dance improvisation, aerial hammock, trapeze, pole) which helps her with her endeavors in body movement disciplines. Originally from Minot, North Dakota, she is a bit of a dancing nomad. From studying Dance Movement Psychotherapy in Scotland to performing as an aerialist at Sky Club in Portland, Oregon, JBonn has danced her way around the world. In the future, she would love to continue investigating movement, facilitating ecstatic dance events, performing, filming creative dance projects, traveling and exploring obscure expanses where she can dance.