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Tim Learning to Lead

Transformations in Ballroom
September 2005

I can anticipate, communicate.

Something is different in tonight’s lesson. I feel different when I raise my arm to give Ginger the signal that she will turn on the next beat. It’s not that I remember the first time which beat to raise my arm. I have to wait three rounds of the basic step with my tongue in full action to take that one simple action of raising my arm. And then I have to do it again the next time to make it definite enough that Ginger gets the message, “Now is the time to turn. Next beat is it. Ready, Go.”

Why do I feel so different? Hopeful. Not spaced. I know I can do this. Just last week, every attempt was such a big deal. Rudy would explain how I should lead the turn and I would stand there ready to start the step as if I were about to make a 100 foot dive with three flips and two gaynors. My mind is relaxed. My eyes are not as big as saucers. What is so different?

Ah yes. Last week it was like my brain popped out of its sausage wrapping. I had to stop the lesson and talk about why I did not want to take the lead with Ginger. Yes, that is it. I had such a realization. I took class time to stand there and tell about how confused I felt when I began to lead, to give Ginger notice that I would be initiating a turn or coming toward her. I tried to explain the mischievous feeling I had right before I was suppose to raise my arm. Oh my God that was so big. I realized that I purposefully kept Ginger guessing, kept the next action concealed so it would be a surprise. That was the opposite of what the lead is supposed to do.

I repeated myself a couple of times. I wanted to explain this to myself clearly enough that I could drop it and learn to do what I love, dance with Ginger. I wanted more than anything else to communicate with her while we move to beautiful music.

I said something like, “I always keep you guessing about what I will do next. Giving you warning so you will feel comfortable makes me feel uncomfortable. So every word, every action is kind of like teasing you to come closer. I like the play of you second guessing what is next. I do that to myself. I will not allow myself to know what is coming next. That keeps me on edge, alert, excited about what my next move is. Only one problem, when we dance together our moves are awkward and tentative. I wonder if our life moves together are affected that way?”

Tonight is different. I raise my arm so Ginger can be comfortable with the next move. This feels so direct. And I am OK with it. How is that possible?

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Gina Patterson at Ballet Austin-Poem

Ballet Austin performance March 31, 2006

Choreography by Gina Patterson
by Tim Hurst

Fire speaks
Every word
A phrase of its own
Cleared of thought.

Two flames
Remind that
Even castanets pause
To catch its earthly spark
Treading where it dares.
Six of one AND Half Dozen of the Other
Choreography by Gina Patterson

New world, new world
New egg, head and neck
New egg, only leg.

Squiggle little lot
Travel along a plot.

New world this way! Hey!
Madagascar’s got my hemoglobin.

Violins in the forest.
Mozart in the hay.
Necks have traveled a long way
From Central Park Paxton
Thru Queens to come here.

New world
Beyond where light travels.

Bright is only bright
And all shades are hues
Of touch beyond Mother
Beyond Father, beyond lover.

Hues of touch
Envelop in flight
Bring down right
Bold staunch light.

Brightness, brilliance
Rattles down the
Cellular ladder.

Stepping into vulnerable
Singular tears
Washing away
Distant Mother’s fears.

O me O my
How easily we forget
Our new world
When reminded of the egg
From whence we came. td easy web . tourist attractions

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Desire by Stephen Mills poem

Desire by Stephen Mills
March 31, 2006
Tim Hurst

First Movement
Duo beyond two
Beyond approaching
Approaching beyond

Touching beyond
Beyond touching
Beyond care
Beyond together
Beyond approaching

Squatting, uniting
Extra legs fluttering
Through standing leg windows.
Entire selves flying through.

Beyond love
Beyond life

Movement two and three
Coupled progeny burst
Into new world.
No return.
Already beyond.

Real play has cleared
Thoughts’ pathways.
Real eraser heads
Have cleared all tracks.

Now together is beyond together.
Touch is beyond caress, and
Flight is where
Two clear thoughts meet.

Silence has come a long way
Down Cunningham clattering avenues
Thru unknown blackness to come here. book a room

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Viewing Deborah Hay poem

Dear Deborah Hay,                                                January 15, 2005

The Match and Solo Adaptations:  Echoes of the Self staking out its vulnerability from deep inside the silence of the Temple.

Vulnerability runs through my self as a participant and observer within your dance.  There is no catching or holding any image other than the passing of the moment to moment attention that we share.  As audience, we are in a relationship with you to shake loose our limitations that delude us into thinking that we are hiding in some way.  Your dancers bring this home over and over that the truth inside is already visible and using your form they have an excuse to be that truth as deeply as they will allow.

Standing in this relationship as audience is a demanding one, to be here with you while we both explore our silences, our screams, our darkest moments.  Of course, the demands of performance are no different from being with you daily except that in my daily life I pretend to hide my fear of not having enough commitment, sincerity, etcetera.  Actually you are giving me a chance to go ahead and admit that I am vulnerable with you and it’s OK to just be in the silence together.

And as with any journey into our united self, I need the guidance of a person of great discipline and commitment to light the pathway ahead.  And on this earth, I need a form to keep my attention so I keep taking one step at a time.  Thank you for dedicating yourself to your unique form that enriches my life every day.  Your dance abounds with all that I wish for, clarity, courage, longevity, and willingness.  In your dances, I am inspired to step into the lightning of my self where laughter and tears flow as one.

God bless and thank you and your elegant dancers,

 Tim Hurst