Without any Apology and Awkwardness – Men in Dance

As men in dance I believe our remit is to be setting people at ease. For other men this will happen naturally if we are ‘blokey’ enough, comfortable in our own skins, and physically present without apology. Our dealings with each other when not dancing should be affirming of each other, with respect, able to speak from the heart and listen deeply – but relaxed and able to enjoy hanging out, too.  Our shared culture should not be ‘churchy’ or constrained – it should have the natural relevance that comes from being embedded in everyday culture.

Any information components in our dance should be clear. Any mimed elements must be ‘sharp-sharp’ or not done at all. But what dance excels at is indirect communication that touches the heart before it reaches the understanding. It has an immediate impartation. We recognize its truth in an inward place. This can be even stronger if we experience it as a participant, not just as someone watching and emotionally engaging from a distance.

‘The Dance of Mahanaim’ has been extraordinary gift as a piece to perform or teach, bringing experiences of encounter and reconciliation at random street-corners, men’s groups, international conferences and special events. It was prepared for use in Jerusalem and round the world, but contact us for a script and music file by e-mail

Men love to show off – with a football, or their cars, or their trademark ‘moves’.  They will want to dance in a way that seems natural, and makes them smile with satisfaction.  It should feel natural once they’ve been shown some moves and mastered them. Simple and strong, with conviction and confidence, they want to own the floor, the space, the ground, to feel earthed, but that anything is possible.
Unless they’ve been straight-jacketed into some religious culture, lots of guys these days are comfortable around dance, at least of some kinds.  One favourite trick of mine is to get guys to talk about men’s dancing. Usually they’re very clear about what they don’t like. I ask them to describe or demonstrate dancing that they would feel good about watching or doing.

 
Everyone has at least one signature dance inside them.
Dance is for everyone – that’s why it’s so powerful.
 
~ Andy Raine
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