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Dancer Cares for Energy

I Dance every cell of me
Every cell of me has its own group
Every cell group follows a pathway through me

Every pathway has a purpose within me
Every purpose follows my journey to form and reform all of me

My cell groups are simple
Some gather Energy
Some store Energy
Some launch and dock Energy
Some track and respond to disruption of Energy
Some honor and absorb Energy

I Dance to care for Energy.
Care shapes and reshapes my pathways for Energy
Care is a full spectrum of curiosity
from smallest to largest and shortest to longest
Care embraces all cell groups as a part of my journey
Care invites all cell groups to become one Image
Care grows one Image into many families of Images
I Dance to care for Energy.

Grasping the concept of caring for Energy within Cell groups can be seen visibly as waves in the sea.

Waves spread across an expanse and gather Energy
Waves gather Energy as they lower and as they rise
Waves shape Energy as ripples, as choppy peaks, as lapping and curling masses
Waves roar and whimper as they meet other Energy from the air and the earth.

I Dance as a wave of the sea
I spread Energy across the expanse of me
I gather Energy as I lower and as I rise
I shape Energy inside me and around me
I merge with other waves as we shape our journeys
I roar and I whimper as I meet all other Energy of air and person and earth.

I Dance to Care for
Energy within me,
Energy from me
Energy I meet
Energy I merge
Energy I absorb.

I Dance to Care for
the shaping of me
the joining of me
the growing of me in all my meetings.
Tim Hurst 01/28/19 6:44 am

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My Dance My Moves

Every year Ginger and I dance at a party for a Dance Retailers gathering. And every year I get the same comments. “I love all your moves.” “You have got the moves.” “I love watching you and Ginger dance because you make it all look so easy.”

What are all these people seeing? It is not expertise because we are improvising and mixing every possible sequence we have ever experienced from many forms of dance. And it is not perfection of any style that would be called good.

My favorite response to our dancing is when we are the first couple on the dance floor. Finally we have the courage to do that…sometimes. Another couple look at each other and one spouse says, “We can do that.” There are immediately three couples on the floor.

So what are they seeing in us? First we are just ourselves and we are letting that be seen. Second, we have spent lots of time learning to love every movement we make. Being satisfied no matter how subtle or bold goes a long way to growing our movement. Third, we have learned not to force as we extend ourselves and how to reveal our soft side in the transitions. And fourth, we know dance as moving in a full circle from center outwards and in every direction. In other words, every movement is a discovery of a fresh new angle or quality that we may never have experienced before.

All of our perspective adds up to be forming and re-forming all of our movements and emotions and hopes with every dance sequence. The Energy we share is our awareness. The including of other people is the same awareness.
Tim Hurst 01/23/19

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My Dance My Center

I just returned from a gathering of Dance Retailers where Ginger and I dance at a once a year party. Finally I understand why it is important for me to dance in public.

First for myself, I get to see how much I can love my movement while being seen. That sounds odd but my usual way of dancing in public is to enter a kind of full on interaction with the entire crowd of people. My awareness expands and I literally dance with everyone there.

This is fine with me except that I lose my center and ride huge waves of Energy where I get lost and often try to do more than my body will handle. None of this is bad except that I need to have a level of awareness in myself that I can return to as Center. From there I can inhale and reflect and rejuvenate any part of me that I have taken too far.

Why do I dance? I dance to learn how these moments work and how I can go beyond my capabilities and at the same time have the awareness to manage my movement and also rejuvenate any areas I over extend.
Tim Hurst 01/23/19

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The Dancer and The Horse

The PBS series Nature studies the horse as a social animal and as a unique physical species.

I often think of the horse when watching dancers simply because of the power and the elevated movement.

PBS has brought out a vocabulary that helps me to put together what I see as similarities between the Dancer and the horse.

The first term is “elastic energy.” A loose definition is Energy that simultaneously expends and rebuilds itself. This same principle has been studied in the kangaroo that can travel long distances without tiring.

The Dancer is a master of elastic energy. Like the horse, the Dancer engages every part of their body in a kind of give and take, unfolding and folding. This type of engagement is common to all animals and for the Dancer it means a singular full body focus. That focus has something to do with the springing motion of lowering and rising, folding and unfolding.

This brings out another similarity in the use of the legs and hooves. It deals with the question, why do dancers point their feet. The action of pointing is first raising the arch of the foot and the toes leave the floor last. This can be seen clearly in a frog springing in slow motion. The leg, the foot, and the toes form one line of projection.

The pointing movement is even clearer in the repeated spring of each step of the horse. The extended leg and hoof also shows a clear line.

Then comes the action that is identified as elastic energy. The tip of the hooves hit the ground first and provide a fulcrum of force. This is not muscle that is propelling the enormous size of the horse. It is Energy that is being simultaneously expended and rebuilt, sent into propulsion and received in a wave of refreshed Energy. The Dancer’s growth depends on this practice of elastic energy.

The Dancer also trains to place the weight of contact between the big toe and the second toe. This reduces friction for maximum efficiency of Energy.

Springing is also a key training for dancers. Like the horse, the primary purpose for the legs is for instant movement in all directions. Walking and running are springing actions rather than muscular pounding. Being erect and alert is also a rising motion of the entire body rather than a muscular pulling up.

The rhythm of the feet is also a similarity in horse and dancer with equal emphasis on the springing up and the landing on the ground.

A similarity that will take lots of study is the use of oxygen in the horse and the dancer. The horse can reduce their use of oxygen in order to go faster and longer.

The Dancer uses their breathing in a different way, more of a phrase that can vary than the horse’s breath on every reach and pull of the legs. However, like the experienced meditator, the dancer develops the ability to reduce the level of oxygen when necessary. I am not aware of studies of dancer breathing.

One similarity of dancers and horses is the love of moving. With the dancer there is always a curiosity, like the horse that enters their movement totally, fully engaged. For both there is an instant response of delight that does not need any discipline or procedures to begin.
Tim Hurst 01/18/19

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My Dance Learning

I have limited my dancing in public because I needed to learn to love every move as something I own. I needed to delight in every exploration and every surprise as a gift without thinking about what it looked like to other people. I also wanted to dance with Ginger as a gentle interchange of energy that could delight us both.

I am the perfect person to take this on because my body seemed to need constant direction and lots of force to complete any sequence of movements. Learning was not me encouraging myself but me forcing myself to move.

Add to this that I had very little pattern memory and had to basically relearn a movement each time I did it. I luckily discovered what Ballet and Modern teachers call “sending Energy” and every movement became a series of sensations that I could follow as long as the Image stayed with me. When the Image would fade away, I had to improvise long enough for the Image to return.

So I took on the challenge of finding a way to love every movement I made and a way to remember sequences.
Tim Hurst 01/23/19

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Do Dancers Preserve Powers We Ignore?

With the discussion of marijuana and opioids, the issue of a full range of medications comes into view. We seem to direct our goals to replacing chemicals we already generate within our selves. Or if necessary we block the receptors or replace the balance of the body with our own designed balance.

All these approaches are generally a one way approach of what our thought can conjure as computer data to design a model of life.

The problem is that we have no idea what life is as a separate physical, chemical, or mathematical reality. We are thinking, feeling, emoting, self and group directed people trying to concoct a model for life. Our thought has led us to much destruction and to high rates of depression, suicide, and almost a love affair with addiction.

There is however a subset of people that are preserving the brain as we know it. They are dancers, musicians, and people of prayer who are deemed different or creative and thus easily discounted from a data point of view.

Meanwhile, the dancer has an intimate relationship with endorphins, dopamine, the connecting and reconnecting of synapse, the monitoring, and healing of injury, not the least is the override of trauma that provides personal perspective upon ones life.

Obviously creative and religious people get lost in our cultural searches that end up in discouragement and addiction. This is a common trait of us all.

What these endeavors hold is a common process of life and learning developed over thousands of years. They deserve another look to get a glimpse of the brain and the networks at work that are disappearing without our notice.
Tim Hurst 07/24/18

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This I Live

I live only because of the opportunity to move in two directions at once.

I do this with a trajectory of curving that does not collide but rather rises and suspends and subsides.

I do this with a willingness to meet all intersections with delight in every crossing and every parallel movement as the actions of following and leading emerge.

I live within the dialogue of my trajectories and and my intersections. This dialogue becomes my experience that I embrace for better and for worse.

The pathways and the meetings require more courage and more insight than I have at any one moment. I have to rely on an inquisitive delight that is a gift and a part of me that knows how to grow.

The courage I ask for is to trust this gift inside me that relates me to all other life. When I accept the courage and the gift then I join with other life to grow. When I refuse this courage which is my default choice I shrivel and turn away from growth and away from life.

The dialogue between trajectory of curving and intersections of movement reveals more about myself that I can conceive.

I am trapped in my isolated experience that refuses to move between the two arenas.
Real and unreal
Self and other selves
Love and hate
Clarity and confusion
Decisive and distracted
True and false

Micro and macro
Skills and personality
Physical and spiritual
Mechanical and melodic
Forced and natural
Bold and subtle

Directed and surrendered
Dominant and sujagated
Deceiver and Deceived
Seeker and sought
Controlled and uncontrolled
Conscious and unconscious
Health and Disease
Strong and Weak
Agile and stiff
Hurt and healed
Taumatized and peaceful
Delight and despair

My only truth is that I am built to move between the two directions. Each has its own pathway and each has its own intersections.

To the degree that i take delight in navigating with a curved trajectory and a willingness to engage all myself within the intersections offered to me, my experience becomes my own as a part of a greater whole. I accept the gift that means growth and that guides me through all circumstances.
Tim Hurst 07/23/18

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Dancer Dragon Slayer Prep

I join Dancer Dragon Slayer.
We choose a tree where we will prepare for our journey.

We close our eyes, We enter secret spaces, expansive kingdoms.
Here I will know the fullness of courage that will carry me
to the Dragon’s lair.

The moment my eyes close, my dance begins with movements so slight, I feel my eyes joining the tree quietly rustling with delicate breezes and also creating our own breezes simply with our hidden eyes.

I recall thousands of moments just before entering a dance. Silent. Absolutely still. Readiness becomes brightness.

My eyes relax and move calmly spreading to receive the life around me preparing to send waves of life that my eyes will precede and then follow.

My breath gives way to spreading and lifting brightness through me. My arms too give way to a weight as if they are falling into gravity in all directions at once.

We enter our secret kingdoms the two of us, Dancer Dragon Slayer and I.
Tim Hurst 07/09/18

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My Urgency towards a Dynamic Vision of Dance

What is my urgency of exploring a Dynamic Vision of Dance?

Every day I wake up to hear of a new discovery about human intelligence, how the brain can be improved to take advantage of this emotional or athletic intelligence, and what substance in what kind of pill will instantly enhance my abilities.

The question that interests me is when has this kind of exponential growth happened before in our history? It may have happened many times after we as a species had lulls of discouragement and disillusionment.

Most probably a leap in human skills of this sort happened as the human began to accept their new powers of the brain. Most important though are the gifts the human developed before realizing the new powers. These gifts became strengths that made it possible to garner the courage and the commitment to explore and build on these new powers.

We seem to be in one of those discouraged seasons of history. Even with all our new discoveries, we look at our youth and find more anxiety, more suicides, more depression and more addiction to substances that we rely on to face our challenges.

One perspective that sticks out as something that has helped humans to persevere is a discovery by Steve Johnson. In his book Wonderland, How Play has Change the Course of History. He connects play to the experience of Delight.

The first question Johnson asks is why in the evolution of humans, the flute preceded the invention of fire. The sounds of the flute were intricately developed to produce a scale that is mathematically astounding. The answer he gives is that our ancestors explored the experience of Delight.

What gift did humans have to help deal with a larger brain? Delight. Where did the intricacies of math and astronomical observation come from? Delight

How did humans persevere in the discouraging times when changes were demanded and new powers seemed unwieldy? Delight was studied and practiced in three ways. Two of the activities were named in language as the same thing. Music and Dance were the same activity. Music and Dance and Religion held the same purpose. First it was Delight. From the delight came bonding of the group plus the growth of observation and anticipation. Most important was the growth all three brought to make phrases that captured the sense of the individual and the group. A phrase was a declaration of the hope and aspiration of each group in their search for the courage to persevere.

What is interesting in our times is our reliance on music and dance as ways to grow our Delight while at the same time not understanding their importance. They are relegated to the realm of religion that is not understood but exploited for the hope it gives.

What is my part in this urgent quest for an overall vision?

I have a unique history with music dance, and religion. All took me a long time to grasp. The technique was slow coming. My brain would freeze if I got over stimulated with each study.

My only entry point in to music, dance, or religion was Delight. Because of early trauma, I developed an escape hatch that was a kind of surrender to Delight. I discovered a particular kind of surrender that always brought Delight. Plus i was able to play and sing music with an abandon that I did not understand.

The tenants of religion were puzzling to me yet I felt myself abandon to Delight in meditative and ritual experiences.

An example of the difference is that learning music or dance has been a process of being a stick man with jerky movements and continual mistakes. Likewise, memory was not something I understood.

What I was able to do was to abandon myself to Delight by playing with the pieces of learning I could remember from a class. I could commit my pieces to memory by connecting each section to a specific kind of Delight.

I would often have lapses of memory while performing. There was no recorded memory of the music or the dance. I would improvise until the Delight would return and there was the remainder of the phrase, the tonality, or the melody.

So my study of Delight has a special meaning to me. Also I seek to understand the kind of surrender that brought me to enter Delight.

All these things are what dancers, musicians, and people of religion approach in their own ways. I have a very detailed perspective because it has all come to me through a longer time line than most.

For example, it took me six summers of daily swimming to learn how to coordinate legs and arms and breath in swimming. Tennis took about the same time just to hit a ball after I bounced it in front of me.

I will not admit the enormous length of time I have spent to arrive at an ease with music and dance. Religion took years of intense meditative practices to coordinate my readiness to my willingness. I persevered in order to both surrender and to reach for the courage to ask the real questions.
Tim Hurst 07/02/18

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Where is My Delight?

I meet nephew of almost three at the waters edge.
He says his full name, three of them.
I dunk myself to remember the entirety of my history in three names.

We stand eye to eye in the water. His smallest bounce delighted me to follow. A little more bounce, him then me. Bouncing now in slightly deeper water, our smiles just above waters surface.
Our eyes shining. Our heads beaming at bottom and at top of the bounce.

Bouncing moves us across the pool. He notices. I just follow. Now he bounces backwards across the pool. I follow still one and a half feet away.

His smile enters the water now and on the rising bounce, he says, “I am happy.”

Out of concern, someone hands him a tube of floating sponge. He touches one end. I touch the other. He bounces backwards. I follow. At pool’s edge i pull the tube and we quickly cross the pool. His feet adjust his bounce in ways I can not see.

I make a crunching sound as the tube hits the edge of the pool. Some yell comes out of me meaning, “your turn to pull me.” He pulls and bounces us back across the pool. I float, follow his pull, and subtly tug the tube and us out of deeper water.

He examines the hole in the end of the tube. I make a sound in the other end. Laughing, he makes a sound in his end.

Adults arrive and nephew has to go home for bedtime.
Tim Hurst 07/01/18

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Who Do I Say I Am?

Who Do You Say that I Am?

Energy of course. Alternating energy you say yet what is that?

I suppose I am the aperture of my own camera that nurtures the energies I receive, those I follow, and those I join with my very own energies.

Yes I suppose I have to nurture and own up to my own energies. So simple you say yet who am I to say.

Dare i? Step into my own energies?

Where would my courage come from? my balance?

Strength given through my immense energies you say?

Start Again We All Say.

Where is my energy now? Images I delight in? Movements I delight to find in me? Sounds I echo at my surface edge?

Where do my energies meet to clean themselves, to shine themselves, to nurture a beginning again?
Tim Hurst 07/01/18

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Dancer Delight as Energy

Sometimes when I watch dance i see bodies moving from here to there. It may take me a while to orient to the emotions and the energy of the dance and the dancers.

It helps that I know the delight the dancer carries into their dance. The delight is not a feeling that comes and goes. The dancer’s delight I know as a way of navigating through movements, attitudes, emotions, plans, and errors.

Navigation sounds like a huge task. In practice, dance has a way of simplifying everything. The dancer’s delight is moving energy. Dance training is simply to learn step by step how to move energy through the entire person.

The body is only the vehicle. The pathways, the shaping of space, the rhythms, these are the ways of playing with energy.

The body can be compared to clay. The potter shapes and responds to the ever changing curves in the clay. The dancer of course is unique because their clay is living, breathing, sensing, and growing.

Energy is the first image of a Ballet class no matter what age. Moving energy from toe to top of the head connects the entire body at once. From this simple beginning comes the complexity and the beauty of dancers of all kinds.

Like dancing, energy is not an “it” to use. Energy is living and growing every moment. The person who enters dance chooses to enter that living and growing process.

I have throughout my life been nagged by the question, “What’s all this life for?” When I enter dance, the question erases because my full attention, all my brain and body power must be directed toward the energy that insists on growing or languishing.

And when delight is involved, it is obvious when I choose to be discouraged rather than engaged in growing energy. Besides, when the choice is letting enegy slip away, I can not resist getting with the program.
Tim Hurst 06/30/18