Wednesday, September 27, 2006


My new magic word is "Enjoy." It's a little word with a big meaning.

Lately, I've been guilty of overloading myself with work. Juggling a full schedule and giving myself no time to relax. In the last two week I've been suffering from neck and shoulder tension due to stress. Recently, my allergies started to act up again as well. I know these are all signs that my body is telling me to stop and chill for a bit. But I had no idea that within the madness a single word would bring me back to the world of tranquility.

"Enjoy" The word enjoy which is the title of a song in Janet Jackson's new album 20Y.O., this word is something I needed to hear. The song happens to be very up lifting and sweet. I find myself calming down when I hear the lyrics.

Enjoy-- and celebrate / Enjoy-- the gift of life / Enjoy-- the simple things / Enjoy-- appreciate / --Just Enjoy--

This word struck me like a ray of sun shine into the tornado of thoughts running around in my head. Just saying the word enjoy relaxes me. I can feel the crunching tension in my shoulders begin to unwind. The muscles in my body releasing their grip. The worries and concerns are quieting down. My chest opens up, I can breathe fully again. Talk about get a load off!

How many times do we all sit back and just Enjoy? So many of us get so caught up with so many daily responsibilities, pressure, and work that we tend to forget to appreciate the little things that life has to offer. But sometimes it takes a message to bring you back. A message that appear in many forms. It can come from a message from the naive perspective of a child, a silly fortune cookie, a billboard on the street, your house cat and many other usual places, creatures and things. It's almost funny when you think about it. For me, my message happen to have come along in a song by my favorite artist.

Yes, this is my time to just enjoy

I use to have an old saying, "don't stress the little stuff-- it's makes you old and wrinkled!" Whether or not this is actually true doesn't matter to me, it wasn't the reason I would say it. I use to just love to say because it tickled me and anything that brings a smile upon my face blesses my day in more ways than one.

Thanks Janet for bringing me a smile... =D

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Body Speaks

Meet yourself...

One of the most important things about being a dancer is the fact you become so much more aware of your own body. It's actually the best way you can better care for your health. You start to understand what your physical body likes and doesn't like. You begin to understand deeper levels of self awareness. You begin to hear the voice of your inner spirit. You can discovery a journey into your imagination, you can feel the movements of dance come from a spiritual part of your heart. On so many levels, dancing can become a true form of meditation, therapy and relaxation.

Self discovery is hidden behind the face of dance. Much can be gained when you learn about the dancer side of you. It emerges and shines whenever you perform. Yes, that other you... That artistic beauty you are.

But to understand this level of self-discovery through dance, you must first discover who you are as a dancer.

The way to start this process is by simply interpreting the music. Listen to the way it speaks to you. Every person sees and experiences the world differently. Everyone has their own perception and sense of reality. None of us sees the world exactly the same but we do all share a similar wave of emotions and senses. Same goes with dancing, each dancer is different because of the way she interprets the music according to her. No dancer can completely be another dancer. A dancers dance style comes from within, a much deeper place.

For individuals who are still students taking dance lessons and want to be a dancer of their very own, they need to understand who they see when they look at themselves dance in front of a mirror. Ask yourself a series of questions,

What is the song saying to you (beyond what the lyrics say)

What do you feel when you hear it? Describe the emotion. Be that emotion

What do you see in your mind? What images? Colors, places, textures, creatures...

What does your dance style make you think of?

Do you look to much like your dance instructor? If so, how can you change that?

Can you follow the music with your breathe?

Can you dance without music and still maintain the movements?

So who are you as a dancer?

Lots of self questioning I know. But when you begin to answer these questions you will begin to open new doors and release that dancer part of you. Here's a little more advice on the topic...

Practice in front of a large mirror so you could watch your movements and understand the language in which it speaks. As a student passes from student to dancer, she begins to witness a chance in her own dance technique. Her movements will look less mechanical and a personality will emerge. It's important to put feeling into your dance, the dance is an experience that shouldn't be ignored. Try not to concentrate solely on how to do dance, listen to what you feel and your body will respond.

Having a connection to who you are as a dancer is truly important to be being a memorable dancer. Without it people will become easily distracted when they watch you. Don't bore yourself being a mechanical dancer-- be a dancer full of life. Be the best you can be. Shine!