I would like to add my pennyworth to Kathryn Evan’s belly-dancing post here. Dance as a form of creativity has been a love of mine since at least infant school – and it’s the only way you’ll get me doing much in the way of indoor exercise! Continue reading
(See last week for the original chorus line.)
It wasn’t only the spirit of the dance that gave rise to analogies for me. The practical skills prompted even more thoughts.
Recently, I went to a belly-dance workshop. I thought it would be a pleasant change from writing, good for my lower back and a help with my weekly belly-dance classes. It did all that and taught me a whole lot more…
(dedicated to the Music Room Poets and all my other creative friends)
In the last week I’ve been think about the core of things a great deal.
I thoroughly enjoy my belly-dancing classes and here we work on our cores so that we can do two contrasting things at once. It’s a little like patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time. We might do snake arms as a slow and sinuous pace whilst shimmying our hips fast enough to make the coins on our hip-scarves jingle. Lots of concentration involved for me.
I also go to yoga – and core strength is central here too (pun intended). By engaging the core, you can develop flexibility, say, in bridge pose to loosen the spine safely – but you can also use it to increase your focus in a balance like tree pose. The key is not to force but to allow a posture to come.
This last weekend I was at West Dean for a magical poetry workshop led by Philip Wells. One of the themes I picked up on was the core of engagement with each other and our creativity. On one hand, I need to open up, allow myself to be vulnerable – but on the other hand, I have to respect my own truth as I do that of others. Somehow I want to show sensitivity to others without that horrible inhibiting self-censorship: that’s me back to doing two opposing things at once.
In my understanding , the physical core and the creative are intimately connected. It doesn’t matter if it’s dance, painting or writing novels. By sloughing off my outward shy and sometimes cynical outer shell, I can let something new, trembling but truthful emerge. It takes courage – ‘coreness’ – to do that ( I think of Chaucer and hir corages ).
How do you centre yourself?
I crack my sternum:
The imago pulses,
A skin sinks in the pond.
K. M. Lockwood September 2012