Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Not just another dance or yoga class, please

Here's the thing. I don't really want to teach yet another dance or yoga class, not the way we've always structured those classes. Because I don't want to teach people just how to dance or how to pose. Or breathe, for that matter. Or lie still and think of the moment and nothing beyond.
All valuable things, but I've taught that, and there are many, many people teaching that now, and many more on their heels training to teach that.
I want a gathering. Fairly small, with some regularity. I'm calling out (in my head, from my heart, trying not to sound like "Is there anyone out there???") to women and those who identify as feminine. Come show up, for yourselves and for this new group as yet unformed.
We would move, yes, and there would be resistance at first, frustration even, if the joints protest or the coordination isn't there. But laughter would carry us along. The surprise and delight at what it feels like to be in our bodies, to be part of this collective body, would be the point of the evening. We're setting aside the need to achieve—that's for our daytime selves.
The music would be curated as much for the message as for the rhythmic sound. The stretching and lying still at the end would be a time to reflect. I can't wait to share nuggets of philosophy from my favorite contemporary female writers. Maybe they'll want to bring an excerpt to read next time.
And then! at the very end, when everyone is loosey-goosey gooey from the feels, we'll have a thing, which I'm not talking about here, which will give them something personal and memorable to treasure and share if they wish.
So it's a book club that dances, a support group that dissects societal expectations, a dance group that dares its members to get saucier by the minute. Can we really be all that, let alone in an hour and 15? Are there people in my vicinity who want more than a dance or yoga class?
Here's the other thing: there's no clear way to promote this thing. That became painfully clear to me after my first promo, from someone who wanted to know just one thing: what kind of dance do I teach?
And in the meantime, I feel a little guilty that I'm abandoning my one loyal yoga student who came faithfully week after week. I've put my yoga teaching on hold indefinitely. I am neither called nor trained to heal with restorative yoga. If you hurt now, you'll likely hurt even more after your first few classes with me, because that's what it means to demand more of your body if you haven't been moving much, if you haven't been questioning your sedentary life. You will need to commit to pushing past the initial protest from muscles you didn't know you had. You will need to trust that on the other side you'll find a powerful understanding of the new you.
Why am I doing it this way? For me. It's what I need at this point. I need people willing to come alongside, suspend entitlement, discard inhibition, and when I say, "Jump!" or "Shimmy," not collapse in a wussy heap. If I can't find people for the kind of class I want to teach now, I won't teach.
That's the truth.