What is Open Floor?
Open Floor Movement Practice is a lively, sweaty, full-on dance inquiry:
How can we move and include it all – feelings, other people, thoughts, wild passions, limitations?
Can we use movement to soften the tight spots in our tender hearts and stretch our capacity for relationship?
What happens if we turn old repetitive thoughts into choreography for creative dances?
We start small, end quiet. We respond to obstacles and mind the gaps. Ask, how am I now? What’s possible? Find direction. Add fire. Push the limit. Embrace paradox.
There's an essential movement language we all speak when we take these questions to the dance floor. We call on universal elements that are inherent in any moving body, such as breath, gravity, centering, expansion and contraction. This is the common ground that all embodiment practices share.
Open Floor is where the rubber meets the road – a place for creative focus and loving attention.
Since the beginning of time human beings have gathered to dance. Mindful movement is surging all over the planet because it's good for us. People who dance regularly have keener minds, greater emotional intelligence, and a calmer presence. Connection, compassion, and communities grow. In this challenging world, common sense tells us to spend time dancing.
The ripple effect is inescapable. One dance can change someone’s day, one act of kindness can inspire a whole community. Students often leave a session able to bring a more generous presence out into the world. We dedicate our work to the common good, to the benefit of all beings.
Common ground. Common sense. Common good.
This is what we cultivate on the Open Floor.
"This body is a rare and precious gift."
And for this one precious life, it is our home address.
When we use the dance to be fully embodied – physically, emotionally, mindfully – it simply means being home for the beautiful ride of being alive. It means we're present for anything and everything: loving, losing, colliding, learning, creating, connecting, feeling.
To be embodied is to come to our senses. To show up and learn to stay with our experience whether it's good or bad. To feel our power and to make things happen in our world.
When we live an embodied life we are fluid, flexible, and free to experience all of the wild and subtle moments that go by, the ones that are heavenly and the ones that drop us to our knees.
To be embodied is to arrive at death in peace, free of regret for having missed our life because we weren't home.
There are no steps to follow.
On the Open Floor we shift from speaking with words to speaking with movement. It makes for very creative conversations.
If you have no idea what to do, try something below:
Stay As with any meditation practice, distractions happen – expect them. Just gently bring your attention back to movement.
Pace yourself No matter what the rest of the room is doing, listen to your body. If you relax in the beat, like a swimmer treading water, you’ll refuel.
Stretch yourself If you always keep to yourself, include someone else in your dance. If you prefer dancing with a partner, try going solo. Slow down. Speed up. Experiment. Break a habit. Imitate somebody and see how it feels. Create your own remix of others' moves.
It’s not about the music We use music to catalyze movement. Love it or hate it, how you respond is up to you. Use everything as fuel for your dance.
Don't give up We all hit patches of fatigue, boredom, shyness, frustration, or discomfort. Even if you can only wiggle a finger or nod your head to the beat, stay with it until something changes. Most often, it will.
Enjoy yourself Excessive seriousness will slow you down.
For more information about Open Floor Movement Practice, visit www.openfloor.org