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:

“Safe space comes from taking risks and diving all the way in rather than waiting for safe space to exist.”

His words helped me remember something that I’ve long believed in: If you feel insecure about an exercise in class, you are probably not alone. When you turn your attention to others, and make them feel safe by seeing them, being kind, and uplifting them, you in turn will feel safer as well. It’s cyclical — permission is positively contagious.