Tag Archive | Dance

Journeying to the Runes – Part 5: Laguz

Life has been so hectic as of late! It seems only appropriate that the next Rune in my journeys is Laguz – the water. Perhaps even better that today I return to update my journey: last night, I danced with my sisters in the rain (at an open house demo at the local YMCA) and remembered what a beautiful experience rain dancing can be.

Stay here a moment – let me soothe and cleanse you
For I am the water that washes away all.
I am the unknown that can be known.

To me, Laguz has so many layers, so much to teach us – the depth of an ocean in a simple symbol – but I’ve found through this journey that sometimes the meaning we need to remember and keep in our hearts is the power of simplicity. As we get closer to winter, it really is time to be still, to listen – to go with the flow.

Profound Fair Moment

We Lovely Dozen have a bit of a history with the county fair – a history of not totally awesome, to be more exact.

Last year, we were invited to perform only to discover the day of our set that we’d been moved to an uncovered stage – in the rain. We decided to take our show back to our dance home for anyone who wanted to join us. So when we found out Wednesday that we’d been invited to dance again (today, actually), we were understandably a bit on edge.

With good reason.

Not a photo from today, but me in the same outfit (more or less).

We were indoors this time around, in a space with an asphalt floor, no sound system, and (kinda terrible) echoes. Also, it was a building at the fair – lots of coming and going, shouting and crying (next to the face painting for the kids). Complaining about our dance space, however, is not the purpose of this post.

After our set, which ended with an audience participation song, we had a little girl (maybe 5) come up to us with her mother. We tried to get her to dance, but as little folks often are, she was too shy to move. The look in her eyes as we danced was the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in a long time. She then wanted a picture with the “pretty girls”!

Moments like this stick with me. I remember reading some time ago in some book by Scott Cunningham (perhaps Living Wicca?) the idea of seeing the Divine in the eyes of children as they explore the world, as they learn, as they grow. And it is beautiful.

Speaking of dancing and children – another song I’m very much loving at the moment:

 

The “Dancer Statement” – or how Tarot can word things better than I can

I’ll be auditioning next weekend for a newly forming bellydance troupe. Generally speaking a standard audition – small choreography to show, the “pop quiz”, and a small teaching demonstration. One thing that really stands out is this: “A 300-500 word personal statement on why you bellydance, what you believe you could bring to a Troupe, and how you could characterize yourself as a performer.”

Ain’t that a task! We don’t often take the time to sit down and really figure out why we do what we do – and we should. As I first began to think about who I am as a dancer, a wonderful metaphor came into being – I am the Magician and the High Priestess. These figures come from the Tarot and refer to two different important archetypes. The Magician is the creator of his/her own reality, confident, logical, and stable. The High Priestess embodies the unconscious – intuitive, non-linear, and mystical. As a dancer, I am both the creator and the creative, in the very same moment.

I then realized that 1 – that’s not 300-500 words and 2 – that doesn’t make much sense to the non-Tarot-inclined. But why shouldn’t I use the Tarot to help me flesh out the statement I’m really trying to get at?

I couldn’t think of a good reason either. I decided on a simple three card spread; giving each position a question to address:

Why do I dance: 6 of swords
Why is dance important: 7 of wands
Who am I as a dancer: the Star

Why do I dance: 6 of swords – I dance to transform emotions into power – the power to captivate and influence and inspire. In dancing, I allow myself to express things that the logical mind has no words for.

Why is dance important: 7 of wands – Dance has always been and should continue to be a powerful venue for creation, expression, and passion. We consciously create a space and community that fosters that exchange – we challenge each other to grow and dare and become more.

Who am I as a dancer: the Star – As a dancer, I am free to express joy and grief – and anything in between – in a purposeful and fulfilling way. I give myself the freedom to follow my own path and in doing so, unconsciously allow other to do the same.

What an insightful read! And this format could be used with just about anything: why do I teach, why do I seek out knowledge, why do I (insert job here)… I think you get the idea.

Un-Anniversary

Today would have been my parents’ 20th wedding anniversary.

Today is also the 5th anniversary of their divorce.

Thusly, I’ve dubbed this their “un-anniversary” and dedicate this day to my mother – my strong mother; my independent mother; my ain’t-gonna-take-shit-from-no-one mother.

My father was emotionally and mentally abusive – not so much to my sister and I, but to my mother. The long and messy divorce helped her become her own woman. So today, I got her some gifts to commemorate this amazing act of courage. I got her a card (made by a local artist), some amethyst earrings (with butterflies!), a little Goddess pendant, and a dragon’s blood candle.

Butterflies are special to my mother and I – I’m not really sure why, but they are. A while back she gave me a butterfly pendant made of tiger’s eye, and I wear it almost everyday.

Butterflies are symbols of change – of radical, fundamental, and complete metamorphosis. To me, they are also symbols of strength, of endurance, of the will to live.

Ted Andrews writes: “Butterflies appeart to dance as the light upon flowers…. They remind us that life is a dance, and dance, though powerful, is also a great pleasure…. Butterfly medicine reminds us to make changes when the opportunities present themselves. Transformation is inevitable…”

The Big Night

I just got back from the Hafla – it was so much fun! I was so nervous, I thought I was going to faint (or cry) but I didn’t and I was told that I was “amazing to watch”.

Well hot damn! If that doesn’t boost the self esteem.

At the next Hafla I’ll be doing a solo and I’m already thinking about what music, what costume – Awesome.

Sadly, I forgot my camera so no pictures 😦 Next time for sure.

More Music

This song has struck a serious cord with me at the moment – not totally sure why.

Lyrics:
I am the firebird! I am his daughter!
I am the firebird’s child! (I am the firebird’s child!)
I am the firebird! I am his daughter!
And like the flame, I am wild wild wild wild WILD!
I am the firebird! I am his daughter!
I am the firebird’s child! (I am the firebird’s child!)
I am the firebird, the boldest song you’ve ever heard

Join in the dance, and make it wild, wild, wild!
Join in the dance and make it wild!
To see a maiden dance around a fire is not so strange
but fire dances round the limbs of this uncommon maid!
Be brave enough to burn and you’ll be brave enough to fly!
Join your sister Solace as she lights the morning sky!

I am the firebird! I am his daughter!
I am the firebird’s child! (I am the firebird’s child!)
I am the firebird, the boldest song you’ve ever heard
Join in the dance, and make it wild, wild, wild wild Wild
I am the firebird! I am his daughter!
I am the firebird’s child! (I am the firebird’s child!)
I am the firebird! I am his daughter!
And like the flame, I am wild wild wild wild WILD!

Wonders of the water air and earth are all the same
you’ll never know a wonder like the wonders of the flame!
Freely fly as what you are and never walk in shame!
You must not fear to blister if you’d live a life in flame!
I am girl and firebird and solace is my name!

I am the firebird! I am his daughter!
I am the firebird’s child! (I am the firebird’s child!)
I am the firebird, the boldest song you’ve ever heard
Join in the dance, and make it wild, wild, wild!
Join in the dance and make it wild!

If you’re brave enough to dance then you are brave enough to fly!
Forget what’s right and proper! You won’t know until you try!
If you’re brave enough to fly, then you are brave enough to burn!
Take my hand and join me in the Carnival of Dawn!

I am the firebird! I am his daughter!
I am the firebird’s child! (I am the firebird’s child!)
I am the firebird, the boldest song you’ve ever heard
Join in the dance, and make it wild, wild, wild!
Join in the dance and make it wild!

Sister will you follow me?
Sister will you follow me?
Sister will you dance with me?
Sister sorrow walk with me!
Sister will you follow me? Sister will you dance with me?
Sister sorrow walk with me! Sister will you follow me?
Sister will you burn with me? Sister will you follow me?
Sister sorrow dance with me!
Like a flame you must be wild/I am a firebird!
Like a flame you must be wild/I am a firebird!
Like a flame you must be wild/I am a firebird!
Like a flame you must be wild

I am the firebird! I am his daughter!
I am the firebird’s child! (I am the firebird’s child!)
I am the firebird, the boldest song you’ve ever heard
Join in the dance, and make it wild, wild, wild!
I am the firebird! I am his daughter!
I am the firebird’s child! (I am the firebird’s child!)
I am the firebird! I am his daughter!
I am the firebird and Solace is my name

What the Heck’s a Hafla?

I’ve been taking belly dancing classes for a few months on-and-off and this month all of a sudden we got our shit together! On February 12th we’re throwing a Hafla.

But what is a Hafla, you ask? I was wondering that too, so I went looking.

Basically, a Hafla is a party – generally involving Middle Eastern music. It can range from a private affair, where dancers dance for each other, or a big public event with vendors and scheduled performances and all sorts of stuff. Our plan is kinda of a Middle Eastern themed pot-luck, with a some scheduled dances followed by a free-dance time where the audience is welcome to join us dancers.

This is exciting…
This is terrifying!

People are going to be there to watch me dance, and I don’t know if I’m ready for that (or if they’re ready for that). I haven’t danced for an audience since preschool tap-dance class. The thing that’s getting me caught up – the thing that always gets me – is my body. Not that I don’t feel comfortable dancing in my body, but rather I don’t know how others will react. I get all sorts of worried about this. How do I dress? What’s flattering on me? How can I cover my tummy but not look stupid?

It’s kinda sad that this is going through my mind, but it is what it is. I’ll find something fabulous, no doubt.