Over the past 3 days I have been at a dance in health lab : ‘Meeting Places: dance, health, imagination’ held at Independence, London. It was led by three phenomenal people who work in this extraordinary often un known and un noticed field of work: Cia Thomas, Filipa Pereira Stubbs and Miranda Tufnell.
The Lab has been about care for ourselves as practitioners, about touch, listening, story, metaphor, connection. I re-connected with wonderful individuals many whom I have not seen since before COVID; I received and gave big, bone crushing hugs – the sort your body craves and knows it needs.
But the 3 days were about so much more. More than I can give the value it deserves here.
As I sit on the floor of a train back home (yep … cancellations – no seats) I have not digested all the Lab has given my mind, body and soul. I know it has done me an abundance of good. And at this moment, I am riding on that glorious wave of my body feeling deeply good.
One bit, this morning, was particularly good for me. We danced.
Yep, you may feel that’s a bit obvious: I’m at a dance Lab. And we had been doing a lot of dancing over the 1st 2 days, but the dance this morning was just delicious.
As Filipa invited us to fill our bones, skin, cells and every tiny bit of us with movement and dance, and to fill the room, I found a joy I had not felt in eons. I was smiling non-stop as a moved – probably looked a bit weird to any outsider, but here amongst kindred dancers I was just me, dancing.
For some time before the pandemic Morning Raves became a thing. Living where I do, I was never going to get to one. And nor would I if I could have. I don’t like raves. I hated going to night clubs when younger: too noisy, too ‘peoplely’ as snoopy says.
But here was a space to really dance like no one was watching and amongst like-minded folk who are fascinated by movement, all movement. Doing movement, watching movement, reading and learning about movement. From the breath to the bold run and leap reaching up to the stars.
We started this dance at 10.20am and finished at 10.30am. Just 10 minutes. It felt like every ounce of my being hand landed into my day. I was open and ready for the day ahead (even this bit of sitting on the floor of the 16:00 LNER to Newcastle)!
So, my new day will be: teeth, dogs, tea, dance and then, only then, into work.
I will miss dancing with others, and Lottie and Lenny will watch with a mix of concern and confusion. But if it makes me feel even 10% of how I felt this morning, I’m in!