Silence is Golden
Is this a question that the DJ host of Flomotion, Julia Franks, asks the assembled dancers, gathered together on a Saturday, every two weeks at a Flomotion session, the best conscious dance this side of the sun? The answer is “no”, as when we are immersed in conscious dance, there’s no talking (which is shared with other similar dance practices like 5 Rhythms and Open Floor Movement). You might say that ‘silence is golden’ save for the some whoops and hollers!
But, it is a question that Bruce Springsteen asked the huge crowd (70,000 of them), at the old Wembley Stadium on Saturday 6 July 1985. Between songs he asked the audience, first in the various seated sections of the stadium (one part he referred to as ‘The Grandstand’), how they were doing. A huge roar came back from each section, as you'd expect.
Then he pointed to the throngs standing on the football pitch, and asked in a more upbeat way: "How we doin' on the dance floor", with an emphasis on the word ‘dance’. An even bigger cacophony of noise came back to greet him this time. Bruce knew that all the important action was happening in this place, where full reign was given to the ability to set free one’s movement, and dance to the music.
Well, how are we doing?
Now, to respond to Bruce’s question, how do we know how we are doing when we are dancing? Do we even need to ask the question? Do we need to respond to it? Or, should we just hightail it out of mind, and just let our embodied movements do the talking?
A (passing) glance at someone else, smiling to one’s self, filling a space that’s just been vacated by another dancer, dancing with others, and other myriad ways of checking in with yourself and others – just some of the ways that we can gauge how we are doing. In reality, it’s just that feeling, that knowing, when your totally in your body.
When at the close of a session, we all join in a circle, and can speak one or two words if we want to, sometimes less is more. Except, of course, if you are me, where I just can’t stop myself dissecting what has really happened during the last 2 hours! One day, it’ll just be a single word that comes out of my lips!
And there’s more
And some of these ways extend far beyond what comes from just our own ways of checking in with ourselves about how we are doing. For example, dancing with others, whether that’s facing them or being alongside them, brings many gifts; you are taking risks, you are exploring, you are connecting. This really does give a very strong sensation of knowing ‘how we are doing”.
What conscious dance brings me, is this total myriad of ways of being… and that’s enough, that’s plenty. It really fills me up. That’s how I’m doin’!
To paraphrase Bruce from what is probably his most well-know song… “Tramps like us, Baby, we were born to dance...”.
© David Cohen January 2024