As noted in the "Upcoming" section of my website, the winter/spring of 2014 is comprised of various dance-related travels. In fact, these next two weeks of my time in Iowa City, which has been my home base for the past three years, mark the longest time I will stay anywhere until the middle of May, when I will be flying off to India to attend a 500 hour level yoga teacher training course for six weeks.
I'm simultaneously excited about the adventures I'm about to embark upon and apprehensive about the prospects of being on the road for such an extended period of time. Although I will be traveling alone, mostly by Amtrak and other modes of public transportation, I will be visiting with a variety of dance and personal friends as well as meeting others along the way. These travels are a way for me to be alone, to be self-sufficient and independent as well as to connect with many of the people who have touched my life and supported my work as a dancer and artist, as well as network into new situations and opportunities. Exciting right? There is this nagging sense however, that these perambulations, no matter how enjoyable and productive, will challenge me on a personal level.
As a dancer and yogi I am aware of the connection between movement and stability; one of the things I emphasize in my teaching across forms is the importance of developing that physical stability, that sense of centeredness, of grounding into equipoise in order to be able to mobilize. And so as I prepare for my upcoming sojourns I have been contemplating how this physical principle can manifest itself in my attitude towards being nomadic. How can I maintain my center, my sense of rootedness if I am "homeless" for the next five months, if there is little consistency from week to week in terms of location, schedule, or community?
There are several practices I am contemplating in order to off-set this challenge. The first is simple meditation: closing my eyes and focusing my awareness on my own breath. This will be the hardest practice for me- finding silence and stillness within myself, between breaths, as I move from place to place.
The second is seeking out dancing and yoga in community. Despite the fact that I will be in more than seven different places, I will have access to communities of conscious movers in each of these places. This continuity across time and space will serve to root me in my dedication to these forms as a lifestyle and perceptual way of being in the world.
Another mooring against the shifting of landscape, of time, and of scenario will be writing this blog (as well as a personal travel journal I have kept since 2003). The verbal articulation of experience- both interior and external- will hopefully remind me that there is a stability within all this motion, that my own sense of my vocation as an artist, educator, scholar, and dancer is what connects these disparate places, people, and events.
And so it begins- even before I physically leave Iowa City- I am challenged to stay present, to be attentive to what is happening here, now; not to worry about what will happen next; to trust and surrender to the momentum I've set myself up to ride. With a gentle engagement of my core and a willingness to be open to whatever comes my way, I move on.