Dance like no one is watching
Excuse the title, it’s kind of accurate, and I couldn’t resist. One day I will write an equally as questionable one titled “Live, Laugh, Love”.
A few weekends back I participated in a workshop called The Initiation with Wild Grace. It was centred around the embodiment of four of masculine archetypes. Don’t know what that means? cool, neither did I. I only attended it because my good friend insisted that I should give it a go, and I had no idea what to expect. As I signed into the first Zoom call I was extremely apprehensive. I remember coming in feeling all judgemental and gross. Big ego stuff as it tried to protect itself.
I stuck it out and even after the first introduction session I felt some subtle shifts, and now, looking back I’m not sure I can ever look at movement the same again. The time we had to dive into that stagnant energy was inspiring, albeit challenging. The workshop was based on four archetypes, The Lover, The Brother, The Dark Father and the Magician (my favourite). I couldn’t help but laugh, as, at the time of the call, I was deep in some interpretive movement, while my housemates were in the room next door charging down bottles of prosecco and dancing in the lounge. Two very different but arguably quite similar practices.
“Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.” ― Rumi
Essentially we were guided through a series of practices over two days which involved tapping into each of these archetypes within ourselves. The practices varied from erotic touch to communicate with spirit guides, to interpretive/spirit-led dance. I had a blast, it was so fascinating to witness the changes in state from such simple practices.
When I think of embodiment, it brings to mind the tantruming toddler in the supermarket. Free to let all that stuff out without fear of judgment or consequence. Then moving into the school system where they were punished for such raw expression and expected to use their limited comprehension of language to communicate complex emotions. If we’re lucky, in adulthood, we find some sort of movements such as football, running or yoga, which allows us to dip our toes back into that ecstatic expression and release.
“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.” ― Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
The weekend with the amazing facilitators at Wild Grace showed me the power of uninhibited movement and did so in a container in which I felt seen and safe. I’ve often shied away from such liberal movements, even in front of those closest to me. I think that’s probably a reason why I drink at parties and festivals. I loved to dance, but in order to do so, I needed something to loosen that veil of discomfort and fully allow myself to express the freedom of movement to the visceral beat. For me personally, that has been a journey of allowing myself to be seen while sober in a more full expression in said spaces, trying to drown out the fear of judgement. The weekend helped me feel all the more obtainable and loose in the manner in which my embodiment is expressed.
The Initiation felt like a welcoming. An offering to dive into all the stored energy interfering with my nervous system and creating consequences throughout my life.
I’m so grateful for the experience to expand my capabilities to go deeper. To experience more fully what I’ve been trying for years with the limits of my dialect. An embodiment may well be the origin of self-expression, from the screaming toddler to the ceremonies of civilisations of long since forgotten. So yeah, time to dance like no one is watching.
“Dance is the hidden language of the soul” – Martha Graham