I’ve always believed that I was born to be a dancer, a mover. Since I was very little my curiosity led me to listen and move my body to all sorts of music, from opera to polyrhythmic Afro-Cuban music. I did become a dancer later in life not like most dancers who start training before five years old. I danced until I was five months pregnant. Then I thought for some reason, “maybe I should try something else, something more reliable and responsible”… I did, I became a teacher. In the meantime my study for yoga began and deepened with that constant need to move. I had begun to truly study yoga and it’s benefits during my pregnancy and I was doing yoga till the very end of my labor.
Three and a half years later I’m a certified 200 hr yoga instructor and children’s yoga instructor and I’ve started dancing once more. I left teaching a year ago and started my own yoga organization. I’m in the best shape and health condition I’ve ever been in my life and not to mention the happiest. Still, I thought maybe I could take up dance again…. I took on a project with a mixed abilities dance company (Karen Peterson and Dancers). Although at first I was hesitant. My technique maybe a bit off or my spatial awareness may not function anymore etc. Those things did happen. It was like riding a bike; soon after the ‘dancer’ muscle in my brain began to function and all those issues ceased to exist. However, what did happen was that I was a completely different dancer.
I wanted to feel others, dance with others, look at them and feel their body even if I wasn’t touching them. Over three years on a mat by myself creating a different kind of awareness led me to this urge to understand, to sense those around me. Surprisingly I even came to the conclusion that what I liked most was to dance with others as opposed to doing choreography side by side, even if the movement feels amazing and is beautifully crafted it is the physical connection with another human being in this different realm that I am most interested in.
Yoga I believe has not only made me more aware of myself (I don’t’ get ‘tired’ by dancing, I can control my breath making it even and steady) but it has led me to become more aware of others. Through movement I could feel the other persons intention, emotion and connection (or no connection) to me. In a world where technology seems to dominate more and more people touch and feel each other less and less it was pure bliss to have this experience. I thank yoga and all my teachers for assisting in my journey to further understand myself. Now as a dancer I feel so much more fulfilled and joyful as I connect with others.
*A special thank you to Karen Peterson and all the dancers I was able to share this experience with.
For more information on Karen Peterson and Dancers visit: http://www.karenpetersondancers.org/