The 4 Tenets of Dance Your Bliss

The 4 Tenets of Dance Your Bliss

There are 4 basic tenets in Dance Your Bliss. I invite my students to utilize these after our workshops:

  1. Mindfulness; Yes, I know this is a big buzzword these days. Buy for good reason – it works. We need to slow down, take in in 3-biggest breaths of the day. Stop the fidgeting. So we work on being in awareness. This includes breath work, seated meditation, walking meditation, T'ai Chi, nature play, restart-making, guided imagery, prayer, ritual, intention setting.
  2. Motion; we must remember to move the body every day, consciously, in ways that feel pleasurable. The body excels at locating the present moment – there is no way to take a breath for yesterday or tomorrow. Mary Starks Whitehouse, creator of Authentic Movement, tells us; “the body is the personality on the physical level and movement is the personality made visible.” I ask all of my students and clients to find a physical activity that they enjoy. Not everyone loves to dance. And that is ok.
  3. Connection; many of us are starved for contact. We need to spend more time around people and animals each day (not just our clients, which can be alienating). We must reach out and share intimate contact. This is crucial for us in a time when social media (I call it “anti-social media) is ubiquitous, and it can be easy to disconnect from others. But we have within us this deep, intrinsic hunger for connection. When we nourish that, we can be well again.
  4. Creativity; I believe we are all creative geniuses. We just need the chance, and comfort to shine our light.) In the early 1960's in a lecture at the Cooper Union Hall in New York, Joseph Campbell was asked what you should if you are stuck in your life: “Follow your fascination, he immediately replied. Your fascination reveals your deepest connection to the life force; if you follow it rather than what society tells you you should follow, you will be all right.” By following what moves us, we grow in mind-blowing ways. Lately, I am obsessed with making terrariums and giving them away as gifts. These miniature and magical worlds are so whimsical and playful to me. It does not need to be high-art – but we must follow our bliss, and stoke the creative genius that I believe we all have.

I believe that if we can live with more of these elements, we can achieve more balance and health.

Here's your you. Your art. Your journey. Your dance.

Books:

  • Returning to Health with Dance, Movement and Imagery; Anna Halprin
  • Moving Toward Life; Five Decades of Transformational Dance; Anna Halprin
  • The Three Marriages; David Whyte
  • Film: Breath Made Visible (about the life and work of Anna Halprin)
  • The Expressive Body in Life, Art, and Therapy; Daria Halprin
  • Wisdom of the Body Moving; Linda Hartley
  • Bone, Breath and Gesture; Don Halon Johnson
  • Dance Therapy and Depth Psychology: The Moving Imagination; Joan Chodorow
  • Stoking the Creative Fires; Nine Ways to Rekindle Passion and Imagination; Phil Cousineau