Wednesday, January 25, 2006

One thing leads to another...


Today my creative activity was going to Nia class. Nia is a fusion fitness activity that combines dance, martial arts and healing practices like yoga. For me, it is a movement practice that takes care of my body, inspires my creativity and fuels my spirit all at once. I am very lucky to have come across a great teacher, Martha Randall.

Dance was my very first love. It's something I've always done. I remember dancing on a red carpet while my Grandmother played the piano. I remember choreographing numbers for my friends and performing them in my grade 4 class. I remember studying acting and one day a movement teacher came to class; I was in heaven.

Dancing has lead to some of the happiest and luckiest moments of my life. At a time when I didn't know who I was or where I was going, I started going out dancing with one of my sisters. Out on the dance floor, losing myself in movement and music, I remembered what it was like to be alive. I could honestly feel that as my body moved, my spirit was shifting into alignment with what I was meant to do, where I was meant to be. Shortly thereafter, I left a long-term stifling relationship, struck out on my own with no money and no job but with a lot of help from my sister, a great sense of hope and a whirlwind of energy. And before I knew it I looked up on that dance floor one night and met the man of my dreams.

Now Nia is where I do most of my dancing. And one of the extraordinary things I've found is that it has oftened inspired me to paint. I'll be stretching and sweating and reaching for the sky and suddenly I'll have an image in my head that I know I'm going to put on canvas. Today's picture, "Core," is one of those paintings. One of the things I love about art is that exploration in one area can lead to inspiration in another. How can your photography inspire a play? How does that collage suggest a poem?

I can honestly say that dancing has changed my life. And part of my dream is to spread that around. As a theatre director, I have often cast people who thought they couldn't move in movement-based roles so that they could discover something new and wonderful about themselves. This year I took my Nia White Belt and am now a certified instructor. I hope to begin teaching sometime this summer. Also, after seeing how guests go crazy on the dance floor at weddings, I realized that there are people who are aching to dance but who don't want to go to a crowded pick-up joint to do so. So this year I'm hoping to throw a big dance party. I want to book a space, hire a dj and throw an event where people can dance, dance, dance and remember (as I do) what it means to be alive.

And if you're feeling dance call to you right now, I invite you to go find some space in your home, turn on some music, loud and lively, and shake your groove thing! Remember what it's like to feel alive.

3 comments:

megg said...

FUN. FuN, fUn, FUN, FUN!!!! I would LOVE to go to your party! I think you are on to something there. (Except I am a very shy dancer. I'd need to be the one you MADE be in a physical role.)

I also love the description of Nia. I have never heard of it before. How did you discover it? I would love to find something like that around here. Maybe it would make me less shy.

Your painting is lovely! Thank you so much for sharing. Have a wonderful day!

Sacred Suzie said...

You are a dancer through and through Jamie. You always shone while you danced, whether or not you were on stage. I love how Nia inspires you to paint, opens your spirit up to creativity in different ways. Lovely painting! Is it new?

chest of drawers said...

You 3 sisters are amazing!
I want to dance too! I looked at the Nia website and it sounds incredible. It´ll probably take a while for it to hit Austria but until then I´ll take your advice, put on some music and get moving!
I really want to thank you again Jamie...you were the first person who ever left a comment on my blog and I will never forget how great that felt!