Walk into my room on a given morning and you will find me in black tights moving spasmodically, mixing ballet moves with angst. Changement, pas de bourree, fall, grab chest, now look up in rapture. What am I doing? To your surprise, I’m actually praying. But this isn’t your typical form of prayer: no rosaries and lectionary here. No, instead I am being very avant-garde. I am praying using Modern Dance.
It was easy to incorporate Modern Dance into my prayer because of its cathartic elements. After taking a few lessons in technique, you are simply asked to dance freely and to express any and all emotion using your entire body, as well as every level of space – no matter how crazy it may look. It was strange at first, but I channeled my frustrations, joys, worries. I went up, down, used the floor, jumped, sped up, slowed down. Then I progressively added God into the mix. Before I knew it, Modern Dance had became a prayer.
Now you may still be wondering what Modern dance is exactly, but I assure you that you have seen it. Have you watched Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” video? Of course you have. All those dancers in grey tights? Those are modern dancers, my friend. Have you heard of Sia and seen her videos to “Chandelier” and “Elastic Heart?” Congrats! You know what Modern Dance is. So, basically, if you were to walk into my room on a given morning, this is more or less what you would see:
If Taylor Swift and Sia are doing it, I’d say Modern dance is pretty cool, it’s in; the avant-garde is breaking into the mainstream. So, why not join the movement and learn how to be a modern dancer? You can choose to make it your prayer or you can simply use it as a way to destress. Whatever the reason, it is both fun and good for you. So what are you waiting for? It’s actually pretty easy and all it takes is a couple of steps:
- Inflate a cheap balloon and acquaint yourself with it. Give it a name if you’d like.
- Allow the balloon to glide on your arms and body while not letting it fall to the floor.
- Begin using your legs, feet, elbows, back, hips, etc. to keep the balloon up in the air.
- Keep doing this until you begin stylizing your movements. Go up, go down. Definitely use the floor. The weirder, the better!
- Add lots of emotion. It is here that you can make it spiritual if you’d like.
- Slap the balloon out of the way and continue to move as if you were still playing with it.
- Play some hipster music in the background. Radiohead, Lorde, or a movie soundtrack will do.
- Add a story to the dance…or not, you can be postmodern that way.
And congratulations! You are now a modern dancer. If you want to go professional, all you need to do is perform your sans-balloon routine barefooted and in tights. Do that, and you will be solid. Dance on my avant-garde people!