Posture, Community and Happiness

Funny how life reflects dance class.

So many times I find myself teaching a concept or approach in movement to students who need change in their fundamental view of the dance. Then sure enough, I start seeing the same dynamic play out in so many other facets of life. 

Lately, I have found myself explaining on a number of ocassions the key to authentic stage presence and good posture and how the two are connected. I feel that a dance artist is mistaken if they think a powerful presence is projected by sticking their chest out or even trying to stand out at all. I believe that the whole diva persona that some people promote delivers a sublimal message to an audience; that the performer is insecure by trying to call attention to themselves.

I propose that instead of pushing one’s presence on others with chin high and chest out, one could try opening ones back and ribs and take the audience into their heart with a warm embrace. The other day, I was demonstrating the difference physically to a student when she began to cry as she realized what was happening in the second dynamic compared to the first – the profound beauty and wonder in the simplicity and effortlessness.

Lately, there has been more than the usual amount of talk in our local dance community about community dynamics – negative and positive. No point to go into details. I have taught in enough cities around the world to know the same dynamics play out everywhere, pretty much identically. But it did make me ponder the question; why some people feel the need to be confrontative while others are happy revelling in the community spirit.

And then the answer came to me in the stage presence posture lesson!

My fav Bhuddist quote: How do you stop a drop of water from drying up? (think about the answer first) Answer: By throwing it into the ocean. 

Hey Dance Community, I hope you find the answer to any possible “community” strife in this quote or perhaps by trying a different posture. Bellydance belongs to everyone. Being a “star” or diva is lonely. Try melting into the community or into your audience and thereby become something much larger.