Wednesday, March 29, 2017

#SOL17: Everybody Dance Now

I was reading a post by Michael Doyle, Happiness IV, Keep Moving, in which he advocates dancing--moving the body. This got me thinking about two things: I had just read about dancing in a book, Life is a Verb and I was thinking about Christopher Walken.

First the experiment. In Life Is a Verb: 37 Days To Wake Up, Be Mindful, And Live Intentionally, Patti Digh sets out a set of actions and movements.  The first action in the book is below and it focuses on getting your body in motion. Patti writes:
Action: Mark Twain has said, “On with the dance, let joy be unconfined is my motto, whether there’s any dance to dance or any joy to unconfine.” 
Let’s explore joy for a moment. Put on some music and dance like a five-year-old for two minutes. Then get out your journal and write for three minutes (without pause, without raising your pen from the page or checking for spelling or grammar and all those other things that inhibit the flow of ideas) in response to the following question: What brings me joy? 
After three minutes, read what you have written. Now for three minutes, write a description of the dance that would best demonstrate that joy. Be as detailed as you can in describing the physicality of that dance. How would you move in the world to express that joy? Then write for two minutes on this question: What keeps me from dancing that  dance?
Ok. I'm ready. So I put on the music. Just me and Christopher finding out how to be unconfined for 5 minutes.

Catching my breath and then on to the writing: This I'll do off screen on paper and later I think I'll use it in a painting.

Be back in a few minutes.

A journal spread I wrote on. The pages were the result of cleaning a brayer I was using when making prints.

Final two-page spread in my art journal.
What I noticed while dancing was that I felt joyful and playful. I was happier and not just for those five minutes, but throughout the day. When I decided to cover the writing with paint, I approached it much like the dancing. Play a bit, I thought and see what comes of it.

So are you ready to dance a little?  Dance like you were 5?  I won't tell:)


  1. Wow! Filled with joy and delight. Christopher Walken would not have been my first thought for a dance partner but isn't he great? So is your writing, and your art. Thanks for this lift to my day!

    1. I think he is fabulous. Danced again this morning. Yea, us!

  2. Your words, always wonderful, obviously meant much to me. And I danced in class today (before I saw this), as I do now and again.

    Leslie was astounded that I had not known Walken could dance--"You'll remember this."
    I'd never seen it--and now I have:

  3. Those are joyful dancing is embarrassment, but I'll try :)

  4. Ha! This post made me smile....I did this very thing a few weeks ago. I danced and danced to the Beegees (I know that ages me, doesn't it?!) Thanks for this.

  5. What a cool video -- Christopher Walken is smooth! (Even if he's often so creepy in films!) Now I'm going to go dance... great idea! (And maybe work a dance party into some PD I'm leading next week, too!)

  6. I used to teach kindergarten, and we danced daily. I miss them! It is a joy-filled, community-building experience.

    Your art is beautiful!



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