Archive for March, 2016

on finding strength. 

Strength can be elusive. There are days we have it in spades…

…and other days where it just won’t come out from hiding

Where does strength come from?

Is it like a well, coming from somewhere deep within? Do we have to dig deep, to gather it?

And then are there times, when that well becomes elusive to get to, with its energy getting stuck in our bodies?

This is often what I’ll see a lot, in dancers. In movers, and in most of our bodies, actually. Strength/energy will often get stuck somewhere. This was the case of Edrian, whom I photographed the last time I was in San Diego.

When I was watching Edrian dance, I would notice how much he protected his neck & chest area. It felt like the energy was stuck. I’m not always sure how I describe what I see when I watch people dance, especially in front of the camera for this project, but the best way to say it is that I watch for flow of energy. I watch deeply and intensely. I see where energy moves in people, and notice where they derive their strength from, and where, in their body, they aren’t giving attention to.

And for Edrian, it was in his neck.

As the person observing, it’s an interesting thing to see & be aware of.

So we do something with that information, and we work through it.

I got the intense feeling that he needed to let whatever stuck energy out, so I told him to do it. Move the energy with his hands, his movement, and most importantly, his voice.

I will say though, that letting that stuck energy clear out is fucking scary. Especially at first. There is a moment of vulnerability, because you lost the wall you built up inside yourself. But what comes next is the best if you keep going, you keep clearing, and you keep accepting what is already there and is coming through.

That thing that comes next?

It’s strength.

It’s your core, it’s your well, it’s your being.

It’s so, so easy to rely on that wall of stuck energy, to keep hiding behind it, to keep adding to it. In a way, it’s a false sense of security, because if you build it high enough, you can reach the top right?

The problem with building off that, is that you’re building and hiding the one element that would truly give it power.

And that’s your true, honest self.

By the way, did you see what I did all the way up there? I said “fucking.” Let’s talk about that word for a minute. I will say, that was probably the first time I ever dropped that word on this blog. Not because I don’t cuss, in fact, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve definitely let my hair down more. Growing up in a very conservative family & church, cussing was just something that I never did. I think because of that, I came off very prim to people or something, because people would constantly apologize for cussing around me! Even though I didn’t do it back then, it didn’t mean I judged others for doing it, so I always found that interesting.

I bring all that up now though, because I realize now that in order for me to be truly authentic in that moment up there, I needed to drop that word. It just fit. Of course, I had the paralyzing moment of “oh no, what if I alienate some people?” But the truth is, I can’t censor who I actually am, in order to please everyone. Sure there are times when courtesy in language comes into play, but writing a somewhat personal blog post is not one of them. Especially in this topic, which is all about being yourself, being honest, and being authentic. Not hiding behind a wall that you built for yourself.

And so after Edrian worked through it (or yelled through it, rather), a new side emerged through. He let go, and just felt his movement, without fear, without all the buildup he had before.

In essence, he rediscovered that well of strength, which had buildup over it previously.

And let the person underneath shine!

Edrian, I admire your courage to trust and dig deep during this session. You’re an inspiration, and beam of joy. Keep that well uncovered, and source from it daily. xo


Movement from Within Sessions are shoots where we explore movers (not necessarily just dancers), and how movement impacts their life. It’s a nonjudgmental way to explore energy, dance, and movement in music. In this, movers always come away with something new, something fresh, and something authentic to them they can hang on to.

Interested? Drop me a line!

Past sessions: alyssa juniouselizabeth amati | kristine domingo | shannon leith | kyle filley | mathew paul chounlamontry | melissa sanchez | tiffany kadani | emily pepper