Staccato – “Stay With” – Dancing with Your Bones.


In my physical practice of Staccato, I begin to notice movements that reoccur.  I am interested and curious about them, for they tend to be connected to something in my inner world. With this new awareness, I can “stay with” these movements, repeating them in a movement exploration. Then, I begin to use this awareness to connect to the source of them. By using my imagination, I can begin to build a bridge from this inner place to my outward physical expression in my dance.

As I dance the hard edges, percussive and angular shapes of this Rhythm, I am doing the work of Staccato, familiarizing myself with my inner world. It’s as if I am taking a journey “within” and connecting to something that wants to be danced. I am revisiting this familiar place allowing whatever is there to come to the surface and be recognized and expressed. As Gabrielle Roth says in her book Sweat Your Prayers, the “ghosts that have been stored since childhood in my muscles and bones take over my dance.” When I find these reoccurring movements or something that I am curious about, I “stay with” them in repetition longer, instead of rushing to judgment and the next movement. This opens me up to deeper meanings as I explore metaphorically their representation and origins deep with me.

Not every movement has a deeper meaning, but I imagine these movements are pathways, as I journey inward, around my inner world. I learn more about myself in the process; perhaps I will learn something new about my olds ways of being. Perhaps enough to be able to let go of an old pattern as I dance it out or release it in the next Rhythm, Chaos.

Conjuring up the willingness to confront, shape and “stay with” these dances that emerge on the dance floor, gives me strength and courage as I continue to open up my inner life. Odds are that I will discover something new about myself that I want to explore. I might discovery a change that I can make as a result of my dance exploration.

Staccato is the expressive rhythm in the 5Rhythms® movement meditation practice and as I use my breath to intensify my dance, I expand my creative range of play. Breath, like the trust of a jet engine, adds the element of fire to every movement, charging the body as my inner world manifests in physical expression. In this form of creative expression, the breath makes sure that I am expressing authentically and not covering up or leaving behind my true inner life.

Staccato is the Rhythm of “LET IT OUT.” It is the place in the 5Rhythms® Wave that we express-out what lies deep within us. Roth says, “from fatigue to fury, misery to memories and hatreds to heartbreaks.” We say with our bodies what words sometimes cannot, the unspeakable truths that haunt our daily lives, giving them a voice. This is healing.  ——- Scotty Lewis ———

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