Diminishing Barriers

Diminishing BarriersToday during PALETTE in Motion we explored expansion and compression. We moved individually to discover how expansion and compression can articulate the body, and moved in groups to discover how these concepts can be applied spatially. As always, dancing served as a unifying component of PALETTE in Motion, allowing us to laugh and step out of our comfort zones in a room full of smiles. I feel that the intergenerational nature of this program has shown me how beautifully unique people are at every age. Each person brings to the room their own experiences, fears, and self-consciousness; but also their own openness, energy, and encouragement, which allow the space to fill with positivity.

I had an interesting discussion with my PAL after class about the role of gender in dancing. This PAL had always viewed dancing and intuition as “feminine,” and saw masculinity as being defined by logic and order. My PAL said that the class is revealing to them how dancing from intuition can be genderless (just as I am discovering it is ageless), and that if we ask our minds to let go of preconceived notions, we can all move together as human beings. I find this reflection to be a valuable representation of my experience here as well. PALETTE in Motion breaks down many barriers: personal, generational, and physical.

Aria Roach, student in Dance

Unique Movements for Unique Personalities

Unique Movements for Unique PersonalitiesToday in class, we worked on an activity where we moved with a beat, then held a pose while working around other participants in space. Something that our instructor Melanie said in PALETTE in Motion today really stuck with me—she said that she could really see all of our individual personalities coming out in our dance, movement, and poses. As I watched other people participate in the activity, I could really see what she meant. Just as we all have a unique way of speaking and thinking, we all have a unique way of moving and expressing ourselves through that movement. I really loved this because I think one of the problems we encounter when looking at people of different ages, is grouping them all together. People tend to put others into a group and label them as elderly, or teens, or middle aged for example, and make assumptions based on that label. I would not want others to make assumptions about me based on my age (or the age I look like), and I think this program is helping me to stop myself from doing this to others. Instead I want to focus on the individual, learn what makes them unique, and watch their personality shine through as they dance!

Hayley Parson, graduate student in Physical Therapy