Striving to be Agile of Body and Mind

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https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/agile/

Today’s Daily Post Word is Agile.  This is a word that until this mid-point in my life would have made me think immediately of my dancing adventures.  I have, after all, been dancing in living rooms, at local dance studios, university dance departments, big-city dance studios, at social dance soirees and quirky indy venues for for four decades.

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Tango dancers in Montreal

As I grow older, however, being agile of mind seems even more important.  I’ve always had a good, restless mind.  I manage change well and enjoy learning new things.  I love travel- the ultimate learning activity- and as a result, have extensively explored cities in four continents.  International travel certainly requires agility.

First time on a camel

Me. on a camel in Qatar- photo credit Berdj Mora

Now I’ve come to the point where I realize that learning new things is about more than beefing up my already solid resume or repertoire.  It is about staying agile, remaining mentally alert, challenging myself, learning more about myself, keeping myself interested in life and not succumbing to the drudgery of the daily grind.

Cheers to Agility!

On the rocks

Me at Dukhan, Qatar, Photo credit Kim Sturgess

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Non-Verbal Conversation

Conversation — Prompts – The Daily Post

As a lifelong dancer, I propose that dance is the ultimate non-verbal form of communication, as it requires no verbal or written language, no technology or instrument other than the human body.  It produces conversations that can transcend languages, borders and centuries.  It can soothe, incite, problem-solve, entertain, arouse, affect, remember, etc, just like conventional verbal conversation.   Dance is elusive and hard to photograph, but here are some of my favorites that I have managed to capture over the years.

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A National Treasure: the Annual New York City Dance Parade & Festival

The magic of the annual Dance Parade lies in its diversity and inclusiveness.  Performers of dance traditions from around the world travel from all corners of the USA to troop their colors and celebrate their traditions with New Yorkers.  A large swath of downtown yields to this colorful onslaught of energy and spirit.

In my humble opinion, the parade is a national treasure, the best free entertainment available and a means of opening the eyes of thousands to new cultures.

Here are some shots of children dancing down Union Square West in the Parade.

 

Demonstrating that men dance too, here are some powerful male performers.

Strong, beautiful women of all kinds shined as well.

Long live the New York City Dance Parade and Festival!

http://danceparade.org/

 

Reflections on a Celebration of Dance

Any large metropolis worthy of the name can boast a number of industries or areas in which they are leaders on a national or international scale.  New York City being the largest metropolis in a large, wealthy, and diverse country can, of course, boast of being a leader in many fields.  Certainly dance would be one of these, as dancers and aspiring dancers from around the world come here to hone their craft and to chase dreams of making it big.  But there is more to the local dance scene than this- there are the national and regional dances that the City’s myriad immigrants bring from home, and other dance forms that appeal tho those looking for a social or physical outlet.  These traditions and styles become part of the city’s fabric and provide a means to connect with others. Perhaps no better neighborhood exists than the East Village to showcase the colors, shapes, faces and steps of more than 70 dance groups with roots stretching across the globe.

A few friends and I met, cameras in hand, to take in this year’s 9th Annual Dance Parade http://danceparade.org this weekend. It was a sea of colors and sounds and with the Village lending its own special voice to the spectacle as well.

The dancers themselves truly represented all ages, abilities and walks of life.  They showcased movement and costumes from countries near and far.  Even the most jaded New Yorker stopped in his or her tracks, if only for an instant, to take in the action.  Some even joined in.