Creating Safe Space

Creating Safe Space

A reminder about your role in making others feel safe in class...

Last summer I took a workshop with Hannes Langolf at B12 Berlin that was both awesome and terrifying.

Some of the exercises, particularly the ones where we made loud, primal vocalizations one-at-a-time in front of the group of 40+, stirred up my insecurities. (Imagine yourself standing alone inside a circle of talented young dancers letting out your deepest moans trying intuitive howling for the first time.)

This is what Hannes said to encourage us:

National Book Lovers Day!

National Book Lovers Day!


Have you ever seen those videos of little dogs held over water where they start moving their legs like they’re swimming?

I do the same thing—when passing book stores. I start pawing the air and panting, excited at the sight of so many books to fondle. I’ve nearly missed a few flights because I was having too much fun in the airport book store. I’ve even warned others about my compulsion: "If we pass a book NOT let me go in."

In celebration of Book Lovers Day, I’d like to share with you some of my all-time favorite books and recent reads.

A Few of My Favorite (Amazon) Things...

Want direct access to my top choices in books, footwear, travel supplies and more?

Check out my Amazon portal here and some of my picks below:

The Return of the FM YouTube Channel!

Before I really knew what Flow Movement was, I filmed floor and mobility tutorials in the basement of Body + Pole. The videos were posted on YouTube without much of a plan; I just wanted to share my work with more people, and the internet was the way to do that. 

Occasionally, people approach me and tell me that they’ve learned a lot from those videos or still use the content in their own teachings. I’m always surprised since I haven’t put tutorials there in years, but lately, I’ve been feeling called to post more on YT. Since I have a lot of unused footage (by “a lot”, I mean hours worth...let’s not talk about it), I’m starting to edit and voice over that material. 

Here are two recent uploads — the Basic Floor Flow Loop and a Spinal Wave Upgrade:

Free Spinal Wave Upgrade!

Free Spinal Wave Upgrade! 🐍🌊👍🏻 This video shares some tips for articulating and sensing the reverse wave/tail-initiated/bottom-up wave. I can go on about spinal wave details for HOURS (days even...), but even a few minutes can make a difference. This video is focused on feeling and visualizing the origin of the wave (pelvic movement).

A few things to note:

  • For maximum benefits, wave anytime anywhere. Even micro-waves are great for you. You don’t have to latch onto your pubic bone (like I show in the video 😂)

  • Any part of the wave that feels jerky, ‘vague’, or that you want to rush is where you should slow waaaay down and add more internal tension. Move like you had an immobilizing thick rubber suit on... but still really wanted to wave.

  • If you short-circuit and revert to the top down wave 🔝, take a breath, and return your focus to the motion of your tail and pubic bone🔂.

  • You might also enjoy imagining that you have a broom in your crotch and you are sweeping the floor real good 😉.

    Enjoy! #spinalwaves #spinalarticulation #healthyspine #pelvictilt

Why Attention to Contact is for Everyone

Why Attention to Contact is for Everyone

If you look at any beginner movement class, you'll see widely-varying degrees of bodily awareness. However, regardless of how someone moves, with a little bit of cueing, anyone can feel if they are in contact with the floor or not.

You don’t need skill or imagination to sense your contact with the floor. You may not be paying attention to it most of the time, but it doesn't require anatomical awareness to grasp what 'weight-bearing' is or to notice which of your parts have the most pressure.

Weight bearing is a constant thing (unless you are temporarily airborne, space traveling, or swimming, you are bearing weight, somehow).

Yet, the details of rolling contacts are rarely zeroed in on outside of higher-level movement environments. But...they could be.

Three Books That are Currently Inspiring My Teaching

Three Books That are Currently Inspiring My Teaching

The first is called ‘Bodyfulness’ by Boulder author Christine Caldwell. It’s swelling with information for or anyone who’s ready to look at the how and why of how they move. The author founded the Somatic Counseling program at Naropa University and has been in practice for more than thirty years.

She says:

“The body isn’t a thing we have but an experience we are. Bodyfulness is about working toward our potential as a whole human animal that breathes as well as thinks, moves as well as sits still, takes action as well as considers, and exists not because it thinks but because it dances, stretches, bounces, gazes, focuses, and attunes to others.“

Less Choreography, More Dance

Less Choreography, More Dance

Have you been to a dance class that was supposed to be beginner-appropriate or all-levels, but the class progressed in a way that made you want to disappear?

Maybe you had fun the first few minutes when the sequence was short, but then the instructor moved on, and on, and on. With rapidly dwindling confidence, you were left stumbling in the wake of an ever-growing sequence. Perhaps physically you could have done it all, but you needed more time to really 'get it'. It was just too much to remember.

I've been there. In classes and in auditions, I've been there.

You can only stumble around, a count behind everyone else, for so long before you want to shrivel into the corner and become unseen.

When you’re new to a style or form (or even just with a new teacher), learning a lengthy complex piece of choreography (maybe alongside people much younger or more skilled than you) is daunting and often
disheartening. Based on what I've observed, the amount of choreography delivered in many dance classes leaves a LOT of people behind.

In my opinion, if you are still trying to remember the choreo during the last minutes of class, you're missing out on the joy of dancing, the part where the movement starts to carry you and you can transcend who you were when you arrived.

My message is this: