community is a verb…5-23-22

The essence of the phone call I took last week rang with familiarity.  Once again, a grateful being reports the influence dance practice wielded in shaping a life.  No matter that this person attended only a year or two, the last time a decade ago.  The experience had been of great import and they wanted me to know.  I’ve had the privilege of listening to countless stories of this flavor.  Most recently, someone who’d come a handful of times attributed remarkable shifts in destiny based on the experience.  Hardly seen this individual since.

Over twenty years, I’ve witnessed tons.  Folks who cycle in a bit, out a bit, then bounce back in again.  People who show up one time and then, referencing that one time, return a decade later.  Movers who are incredibly articulate about their process and those that never say a word.  Individuals who’ve heard about 5Rhythms forever, meant to come for years, finally arrived. Dancers who’ve been with me week after week for two decades.  People whose movement vocabulary transfigures right before my eyes and those who carry on without variation year in and year out.

And then there are the big events.  We watch new life gestate and then be born.  We’re present to hook-up joy and break-up pain.  The shock of illness followed by the empty absence, the heartache of loss.  Marriage transpires out there.  And so does divorce.  The festival of life plays out on that sacred floor.

In fact, the only thing that remains constant is the container itself, which for many years I held on my own.  Which was a phenomenal undertaking.  And just as extraordinary, in a whole different way?  The positively impactful adventure I’ve had the honor of sharing with Majica Alba: partnering in this community-holding endeavor. The dictionary defines community as a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.  By frequent report, this is one of the top reasons people show up to dance.  That feeling of fellowship, of belonging, of sharing with like-minded/hearted.

Yet here’s the ironic seduction I’ve noticed over and over: the moment it begins to feel like our community has gelled, is somehow defined, an established group consistently showing up, the illusion this is makes itself known.  Invariably what follows is a transitional period of dissolve as a new grouping takes form in the next elusive shape.  It’s like the word community is a verb.  The pandemic has created its own dynamic bit of play with this amorphous community phenomenon.

And I am so down for it.  Every last bit of it.  Because I’m in such good company with those who’ve opened their hearts to me, shared the impactful nature of this practice.  There is a surprisingly powerful dose of influence thrown in when you’re the one who invariably shows up to make it happen. No matter what.  I’ve been out there hot on the heels of my own life festival events: birth, death, illness, major life upheavals.  All the reasons students might choose to cancel and just stay home.  But here’s what’s true: those hot-on-the-heels moments hold mega-weight. The most meaningful teaching/learning excavates personal vulnerability to illuminate the all-embracing universal. Who knew that my most penetrating insights would begin to pile up after I had the audacity to step in to teach?

And so, after a bit of perspective-inducing time off—picture above, last day camping at Sunset Beach—I’m back at out there.  If being part of community as a verb calls to you here are three ways I’d love to move with you:

  • Maybe you’ve always meant to dance.  Or used to and know it is time again.  Or always come and can’t wait.  Wednesday Waves at Clara—Taking More Pleasure—is happening until June 15.  And then we break until September.  Sunday Sweat Your Prayers in the garden happens through July 31 before that break.
  • Maybe you know you’ve always wanted to do yoga but think it’s not for you.  Or you’re curious about this rolling and releasing thing.  Or you’re always there every week and can’t wait.  Roll, Release, Align on line Friday 10:00.  This week’s focus?  That incredible diaphragm, the way it creates a bottom for the heart basket and is in 24/7 service to the breath.
  • Maybe you’ve got something bugging you in that shoulder or neck, that hip or low back, that knee or foot.  Maybe you want to learn how to tenderly and expertly care for it in a healing way.  That’s my thing!  Call me (916) 267-5478 and let’s talk about how we’ll make that happen.

That feeling of fellowship, of belonging, of sharing with like-minded/hearted.  That’s what it’s about…❤️Bella