Creative Dance Teacher Training

I just returned from two weeks in Tucson, Arizona, where I was extremely fortunate to be trained in Barbara Mettler's approach to dance. Referring to the seemingly generic name she gave her life's work (i.e., Creative Dance), Mettler insisted no other words better describe the ongoing process of improvising our movement impulses, both on and off the dance floor.

(Upon arrival to the airport, i took a tumble off the curb and sprained my ankle, hence the cast in the photos. It turned out to be a gift, spending much of the time observing the teaching process and student response from the sidelines.)

Creative Dance is rooted first and foremost in Freedom. It is not about choreography or performance, but instead about dance being a basic human need. The art of movement is central to all other arts (e.g., there must be motion for us to hear a sound). 

We typically think of dance as a visual art, but in fact, it first is a kinesthetic art - feeling the movement impulses from the inside. The body is not the creative material; it is the instrument that "plays" the material, aka the movement impulses.

The teacher training helped me see new ways to make movement accessible to all, especially "non-dancers." Dancing has been my sanctuary. After even a few minutes shaking it out in my living room, I am a new human animal. These primary experiences have shown me the power of physical movement - that when we move our bodies, we open new possibilities to move our thoughts, our actions, our world.

And we understand more about what a person is communicating through their movements than through their words. Like Play, i believe Movement is a universal language. To continue this study, I will be facilitating Movement Club in Oakland with the intention to make it a weekly gathering of movers and shakers and twisters and wigglers.

Kate Spacek