Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Serpent power

She stood in front of her dance instructor in the little studio on a warm late June evening. He was teaching her about the secrets of the close embrace. It was about connection and presence - as in being with your partner in every breath of the tango.

As he demonstrated the way that their axis should be complimenting each other, and how it shouldn't look and feel, he asked: "Do you feel the difference? It's like you want to be here. You're in this moment and that's all there is."

As they moved up and down the length of the dance floor, her chest resting on his, he spoke his reminders to her as if they were a mantra: "Come closer. There. Reach back more with your legs, as far as they'll go. Aliven your spine. Yes. Come closer, still. Yes. Feel the subtle spiral with each step. Breathe. Breathe with each standing leg. There. Let your hips go. Even more. Yes. Shake that serpent awake..."

She looked up at him, surprised by what he said. She had to laugh: this was the third time in a week that reference to her Kundalini had arisen in private conversation. "That's my homework for the year," she said, as she felt a part of her shell, another layer, crack and fall to the floor like a small existential breakthrough. They kept moving in the line of dance, heart to heart.

As they had reached the end of the floor, he stopped. "Did you feel that?" he asked. "Did you feel the connection, that's what this dance is about."

She nodded and noted, "It's hard to be that way if you really aren't feeling the connection with your partner. I can't seem to fake it."

"I want you to know and be that for yourself, no matter who you're with. You can't meet rigidity with rigidity. Some partners won't even get what we just did. You have be this for yourself. I want you to own it. It's yours - don't let any partner take that from you."

And with that, another layer fell to the floor and shattered as her little heart opened a bit more. She looked at him with eyes at the tear threshold and confessed the bigger take home assignment that had been universally issued that year.

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