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Dance on, Woman!

Jill Liflander contemplates the role of Dance in her life.

Over the past year, it has become pressingly essential for me to acknowledge how massive dancing is in my life. Dance has become my vehicle for exploring the world, for feeling authentic, for sharing my creative voice, for experiencing joy. For years, I have been moving towards having more dance in my puppet shows, but my inner voice still banged loudly in my ear-MORE MORE! I signed up for a choreography class in addition to my technique classes at the Tarrytown Y, performed an original work this summer, (which was extremely gratifying) and still, the voice demanded MORE MORE! "Inner self!"-I fought back-"I am 42 years old! Why are you pushing me towards dance! I am old, old, old! How is this logical?"

Obeying the forcefulness of my inner compass, I found a 'Fundamentals in Dance Education' laboratory class at the 92nd St. Y, a six month course that meets from 7:30-9:30 on Monday nights. This means that I leave my apartment at 5:37 and arrive back at the apartment at 10:40 to walk the dog, staggering with exhaustion. The course is radically fabulous-it is not to be missed-it is masterful and mind-blowingly awesome, AND it takes me a full day to recover from my night-time excursion to the Upper East Side.

I co-faciliate an artist's support network at The Purple Crayon in Hastings, where I genuinely believe in everyone else's genius, everyone else's right to grow and to expand, to be confident and OUT THERE with their artistic selves. Even with this fabulous supportive atmosphere and my extreme positivity, I still would sit in my car after meetings and do battle with my pesky inner voice: HOW CAN I CALL MYSELF A DANCER? I WAS NOT CLASSICALLY TRAINED! HOW CAN I BE GOOD ENOUGH??!

Meanwhile, I continue working on a new dance piece. I am learning the slow painful process of revising and discarding unnecessary movements. I continue to push myself in technique classes. I am not giving up, because the cost of letting my fears run the show is far too high for me. Today, I may have just figured out a way to begin teaching dance.

"Yes it hurts when buds burst. There is pain when something grows. " -Karen Boyle

Read more at jillypuppets.com and jillypuppets.blogspot.com

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Krista Madsen December 13, 2012 at 10:58 PM
So glad to have you dancing, and blogging, Jill, welcome!

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