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  • Writer's pictureDanielleEastman

Freeing your inner dancer (pt. 3)



Heyyyy, friends! I hope your May was lovely!


June is here, and that means we are sliding right on into our third and final week of our sweet little series on "Freeing Your Inner Dancer!"


In week 1, we focused on sensing our bodies.

In week 2, we focused on listening closely to the music.


This week, for our 3rd technique, we're going to focus on the power of zooming in to help us experience more blissful freedom as we dance.


The key: to narrow our focus.


Simply zoom in (for example, on one specific body part) as a way to get started.


It may sound contradictory at first, but the purposeful narrowing of options can actually really help with tapping into and exploring our creativity, and expanding our freedom.


Unlimited options can sometimes be overwhelming.


For example, imagine you walk into huuuuuge, beautiful art room, filled with alllllllll kinds of art tools. Everything you could possibly imagine to create with. As you enter, you are invited to "make some art."


Some may find this scenario incredibly exciting, and get right to work creating. Others, however, may find this freedom overwhelming and have no idea where to begin. There are times when unlimited freedom (especially if one is not used to it) can actually feel a bit paralyzing.


Can you picture yourself in that art room? How would that scenario feel to you?


If you find yourself closer to the overwhelmed end of the spectrum in this situation, this is where our focus this week on zooming in, and slimming down our options, can be helpful.


Narrowing down the options can help us get started.


So now, picture yourself back in that art room again. But this time, there's a beautiful spread of paints, paint brushes, types of paper, and many sizes of canvases set in the center of the room, and you are guided to create with those paints. Although the room is filled with all sorts of other art supplies, you are guided to focus specifically on painting. This assignment might feel a little easier to get started with. You still have a LOT of options, but by narrowing down to painting, it can be a little bit easier to begin.


Now imagine the following scenarios, where the teacher narrows the assignment down even further:

  • You are given a 24" x 24" canvas, and a set of watercolor paints & brushes...

  • Or you are given a 8.5" x 11" canvas, and oil paints...

  • Or you are asked to paint using only shades of red...

  • Or you are asked to paint a landscape...


How would it feel to be given one of those assignments?


Sometimes, unlimited options can be overwhelming. However, in each of the above scenarios, the options became limited ---narrowed down by medium, tools, idea, or scope-- which, in turn, can help to funnel and direct one's creative energy a bit. With less to choose from, the assignments became a bit easier to dive into.


We can do this in dance, too!


We can use this same practice of zooming in and narrowing down our options to help us move out of overwhelmed mode and into freeform bliss!


Instead of "just dance!" you'll often hear me say things in class such as "dance your feet." Move your elbows... Wiggle your fingers... Clap your hands... Move your bones... Let go of your head... Dance your spine... etc... With this, we're simply narrowing down the options a bit, in order to spark your creativity with something specific to explore and play with. By zooming in on our feet, for example, we can let go of what our whole body is looking like, and simply focus on shifting from one step to the next.


Funneling, guiding, and directing your creative energy can be really powerful.


Once your feet are on the move, the rest of your body will follow. And remember, in Aya, it doesn't really matter what your dancing looks like at all. Instead, Aya is all about connecting with how you feel as you dance. As long as your movements are feeling good, you are doing Aya perfectly! ;)


Zooming in gives us a spark -- a place to get started.


So if there is ever a time when you don't know what to do... or feel a little stuck... try this technique: just zoom in on one body part to narrow the options down. Start with your feet. Simply get those babies moving around in space. And then, before you know it, your dancing! You're doing it! More body parts will start to join in, and soon you'll be wiggling all over the place, feeling wildly alive, creative, and free!


Perhaps this can help in other aspects of life too?


Can you think of any other ways this practice of "zooming in, and narrowing down to help get started" could be helpful this week?

  • Perhaps helping kiddos narrow the options down when they have a big summer day of freedom ahead and don't know what to do with themselves?

  • Perhaps picking just one home improvement project to focus on, rather than the whole (possibly overwhelming) list of all things to fix?

  • Tackling the list of chores one item at a time?

  • Focusing on just one of your creative ideas for your business?

  • Maybe getting spring cleaning going with just one small area?

  • Perhaps getting started on that novel you've been wanting to write by spending 30 minutes on it?

  • Are there areas in life where the whole picture at once is overwhelming, but more do-able if broken into smaller bits?


That's it, friends!


This is another technique that definitely gets easier with practice, and I can't wait to explore it with you this week. Thanks so much for reading, and for joining me for this lovely little series!


Seeeeeee you soon, everybody!


Much love,

Dani


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Quick reminder: only 3 classes this week (Sun-Tues). Then, no class 6/5-6/12!

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Want to dance some Aya with us this week? Wonderful! Please do!


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