How dancing informs my writing

As a writer, I am absorbed in the element of air most of the time. Imagination, inspiration, thought, intellect–these are my primary tools, and when I write, I pull things seemingly from the air and create something that is passed through the ether to the reader. Communicating through the eyes, the mind, occasionally (for me) through voice.

But with dance, I’m using different elements. As Kynt says, we are only a tiny bit spirit or energy; our bodies are primarily elements. And when we move our bodies, we are expressing our relationship to the elements around us. How are we related to water, to earth?

Heaven knows that breath and sweat are a big part of it. But the joy of wordless expression is like opening a different part of myself. When I’m really into it, I’m not intellectualizing my movements. My body remembers how it’s supposed to move, and I dance in relation to the other dancers around me. It’s communal, and it’s invigorating.

I also take with me the emphasis on rhythm, repetition, even rhyme in each dance. When I’m learning a dance, I can see the pieces of the whole, the way it’s constructed, and how to put it back together with my own expression added. Fascinating to see how similar a dance is to a poem, built of gestures and images.

When I’m observing the professional dancers who lead the company–and when we talk about creative process–it’s such an exciting way to think about the different ways we express similar impulses. To create, communicate, inspire, through movement, through language; gesture and image. To interpret experience through symbolism.

Maybe these thoughts are not fully baked yet. Maybe they are coming more through my body than my intellect at this point.

But how fun is this? We performed in front of City Hall (I’m the one in pink):