Cat Hay is an AMC Facilitator Apprentice and Administrative Assistant. She is a hoopdance teacher and a professional fire and flow artist.
“Dance till you sweat.
Then, dance some more.
Do it alone.
Do it with others.
Do it often.
Do it with attitude.
Do it with an attitude of prayer.”
-Gabrielle Roth, Sweat Your Prayers
For ten years now I have been dancing, nearly every day, for one to two hours each day. And for at least 90% of that time, it’s been solo.
I’d push my couch to the side, roll back the carpet, light a candle, and crank up the music. On sunny days I’d head over to the park, find a secluded patch of grass tucked amongst the trees, and with my furry companion and bluetooth headphones in tote, rock out.
Needless to say, dancing changed my life. I stumbled upon it in my darkest of hours and it wasn’t until I had a person come into my life and say, “You do realize, right? What you have is a practice!”, did I begin to understand its significance.
In Sweat Your Prayers, Gabrielle Roth says, “When I dance I feel the presence of a divine force and this is my addiction…feeding it is as simple as putting on the right music and letting go.”
I can relate, as I imagine many can.
We can feed our dance wherever we may be…and starting exactly where we’re at is no better a place to begin.
Some of us discover dance through community, some of us discover dance on our own. Whatever our way in, both dancing with others and dancing on our own feel pretty necessary to me.
If dance is our practice, then we show up for it. No matter what. That’s the art of practice. “Do you have the discipline to be a free spirit?” Dance may be one of the most radical acts of self expression, but true freedom of expression requires discipline. It requires showing up, again and again- to dance, to self, to discovery, to truth, to presence, to God, to the Divine, to whatever you want to call it.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. The world at large is undergoing massive transformation and we are learning how to respond as individuals and communities. To respond effectively, we must stay strong in our practice. We don’t stop dancing simply because we aren’t holding our community dance waves as usual…this is exactly when we turn to our practice! Think of it like a dance wave – when the chaos comes we dance harder!
There is so much beauty in spaces where we can gather over good speakers and dance floors. One of the main reasons I moved to Asheville was because I had attended a couple AMC dances and had the deep realization that I really needed a dance community. Coming together as a community for the act of dancing is, in my opinion, among the most primal and evolutionary things I can think of. It feels absolutely necessary to my existence.
So, too, is dancing on my own. So, too, is a personal practice.
Dance alone and dance together!
The added beauty of this day and age is that we don’t have to choose between one or the other. We have the power of technology, to band communities together in novel and unprecedented ways. While physical presence can’t be replaced, we can still feel the energy of the collective and dance together in other ways. We can dance connected, yet in the comfort of our homes, with just a few tools of technology.
For now, we’ll be offering livestreamed dance wave on our regular schedule.
See you on the dance floor 🙂