Gathering the Fire

I just came back from a music and dance workshop/festival where I taught a class I called "The Wallflower in Full Bloom." My goal was to make sure that all the novice dancers took full advantage of the live music and good energy of that festival to get their dance flowing.
I was so happy to see all my wallflowers out on the dance floor, doing their thing that night. One of the exercises that my students told me helped them the most, I call "gathering the fire."

You will sometimes see Flamenco dancers come out excruciatingly slow. You can see that they are building up to cut loose. They appear to be filling up with the energy of the song til that moment when they burst open into passionate motion.
Here is an excellent example, featuring Flamenco dancer Sara Baras...

Think of one of those toy helicopters with the rubber band. You wind it slowly up and when the tension is right, you let it fly. It spins out of your hands. It has stored that energy up and takes off.

For this exercise, my favorite music is Miranda Sex Garden's track, "Cover my Face".
(you can, of course, use any music that you find passionate)
Walk slowly in a large circle as the music starts, drawing energy upward until it fills your upper body.
When you feel the time is right, fling yourself hard into movement that involves your whole body. (not just an isolated part)
After several moments, you will hear the right moment to fall into a sculpted pose. Hold it just for a couple seconds before you start slowly lifting your arms up and out, bringing the energy back up. When the tension is right, let the music tell you how you should release that wound up energy. Rinse. Repeat.

Return to subject list