The experience of a two week dance intensive with Keren Rosenberg is something that has continued to unfold itself since the intensive finished. Meeting inspiring and professional mentors in recent years has nourished my soul as a dancer. The work and mentoring Keren has shared with me puts her at the top of that list.
She has the rare gift to be able to read your movement and give individual direction to improve your dance expression. Keren not only shares information but invests her knowledge and time to improve her students’ abilities.
The beginning for me was an interesting process as I’ve just taught a dance workshop myself. I find it important to always think of myself both as a student and a teacher at the same time. That helps me to stay curious and to continue my ongoing research. As Keren reminded us we are “works in progress”. During the workshop she encouraged us to observe other people’s movement and at the same time to stay connected to ourselves. Finding similarities between her teaching approach and mine gave me confidence that I’m on the right track.
Some of the points that she made during the classes that I found particularly helpful:
• Dancing is not about success or failure but about giving ourselves a constant feedback. Ambition creates an extra effort that makes us lose sensitivity and creates tension.
• The terminology we use with ourselves affects how we move. For example using the word challenging to describe an action or movement rather than hard or difficult enables better progression.
• Embodying a total sensation in the body. This happens when we apply texture, form, and connect with the space around while giving and receiving at the same time.
• I enjoyed how she was leaving questions during talks to resonate with us. “Allow questions to remain unanswered.” she said.
Another interesting observation that came after a discussion with other participants was regarding confidence. All of us enjoyed being in the safe environment of the workshop. It enabled me to explore my movement in depth, the meaning behind the form and my inner rhythm. You gain confidence by being comfortable in your own body, with the people around you, and with your desire to move. This happened during the intensive in a very subtle and natural way.
What I look forward to implementing in my future work is letting people share their individual experience in between sessions. This action builds up trust between participants. Prior to this workshop I was more focused on sharing or giving information. It is interesting though to track how it is perceived by the participants as well.
Most importantly I’m looking forward to following Keren’s advices and doing “Things my grandma can’t do” while exploring my “madness” through dance.
My participation in this workshop was possible with the help of the Dance Ireland Professional Development Award.