He who bends to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
He who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in Eternity’s sunrise.
Some years ago, I studied the lives of three well-known dancers/couples who danced in the early to mid-twentieth century and were all students of Christian Science which, at that time, was a thriving and innovative worldwide phenomenon. Here are the resulting articles.
Ruth St. Denis
We should realize in a vivid and revolutionary sense that we are not in our bodies but our bodies are in us. Ruth St. Denis
When Ted Shawn first saw Ruth St. Denis perform in 1911, he was enthralled. He was nineteen; a student fresh from religious studies and a ballroom dancer. He looked at the famous, thirty-two-year-old dancer with adoration. She combined his two great loves; dance and spirituality. Little did he realize that three years later, he would see her again, she would employ him to perform ballroom dancing routines in her shows, and, within the year, they would be married. Continue reading “The Winged Life”
In many dance forms, including ballroom dancing, men rule. They rule not because of some innate quality which makes them better rulers, but because of the principles of demand and supply. There are a lot more female dancers than male, and so a good male dancer is valuable. Simple economics. Nothing wrong with that, however, as one would expect, good male dancers can become egocentric and controlling in the same way that CEOs can. Also, as expected, women can become submissive add-ons or, alternatively, partnerless dancers incapable of starting/maintaining a long-term dance connection. Continue reading “When Men Rule”
I have collected all of my writings on dance and published them in a small book, Dance: A Spiritual Affair. I will extend it over the coming years.
Dancing is an innately spiritual affair. It reaches beyond words to the essence of beauty. Its height is Divinity and its depth is humanity. It is the ever-moving balance between independence and intimacy. All the while, it reaches into the great Beyond. Continue reading “Dance: A Spiritual Affair”
Like many other things in life, dancing seems to revolve around strengthening one’s ego. I prefer to think of it as letting a little piece of life come through us, together with another person who is gracious enough to want to share a little piece of life with us. It could be something pure. Or powerful. Or happy. Is it possible that the purity, power or happiness could simply express itself through a trained body and mind without the ego and its never-ending problems? Continue reading “We Are Here For God”
Many people chastise themselves for not believing in themselves. Such belief is crucial to our development and happiness. However, the common approach to getting it is flawed and won’t help us. Mostly, what people really mean is to believe that they are better than other people, often, particular people known to them. Human nature constantly compares itself to others to work out how it is doing. Continue reading “Believing In Ourselves”
Until a few years ago, I was not a newspaper reader or a news watcher. I always had a great aversion to horror movies and could never watch any movie at the cinema that had violence which, definitely, limited the choice of movie. To me, news watching was a similar thing. It’s not that I didn’t care about the world. I cared very much, however, my focus was naturally on the interior world rather than the exterior one; the world of thoughts, emotions, and spirit. I found it relatively easy to read the thoughts and intentions of other people. The thought patterns of humans are very similar, for good and bad. Once we understand one person (ourselves), it is not difficult to understand other people. The energy people put into those different thought patterns does, of course, vary greatly thus the diversity of people. Continue reading “The Interior and Exterior World”
When I was a child, I would sometimes dream about being a ballerina. It was never as part of the corps de ballet but nor was it about being a star soloist. It was always pas-de-deux. The important thing seemed, somehow, to be able to relate to another human being as a dancer and hopefully for something beautiful and meaningful to come out of it. As a child, of course, I could not express it in those words. Nevertheless, my unconscious mind must have known what it wanted because the dream never changed. Continue reading “Pas-De-Deux”
It is wonderful when people take up something as an adult that they have always wanted to do but, for one reason or another, couldn’t previously do. It is often that as a child they did not have the opportunity to follow an interest, probably, because their family was busy raising them and their siblings and surviving life. The activity may be taken up as soon as we become a young adult and start making serious decisions about our life direction and where we want to spend our time and money. Sometimes, the activity can be taken up much later in life when the demands of children, mate, and work are in a different category of required input. Here are a few guidelines for those who take up dancing as an adult. Continue reading “Following Interests as an Adult”
My dance class had a guest teacher who is a renowned Flamenco dancer of thirty years performance experience. In Flamenco, although young dancers are admired for their speed and agility, they are not considered to have the emotional maturity to adequately convey the duende or soul of true dance. The most respected Flamenco dancers are the older dancers who long ago mastered their technique and now perhaps do less with their body but much more with their soul. Continue reading “Authenticity”
Before taking up ballroom hold, man and woman stand several feet apart, preparing to dance. The man indicates he wishes his female to step towards him and she responds by walking to him. They both find their common centre and then when all is right, they move together. Continue reading “Breathing Into Life”