We are very excited to welcome you to the third part of our four part collection for 2017. For the next three months, we are focusing on the lyrics, the words, the stories of our lives and of our songs.
Yesterday in my class at the studio, I stopped the music and I talked about how sometimes I hear about how Oula has changed over the years. How it used to be just having fun and dancing and now it’s become more about working through things and this need to talk about the hard stuff. Well, first of all, I should hope it, as well as I, have changed during the last seven years. That is evolution, maturation and growth. Secondly, things are hard right in this world right now! And if you aren’t feeling any of it, then lucky you!! But feeling for other people makes us compassionate, not dramatic. And finally, from a superficial space and place, I get it. I understand how it’s more “fun” to just keep things light and dance to pop music without thinking too much about it. But, once I took my rainbow of experiences and emotions—all of my joy, pain, anger, love, excitement, sadness and well, just life in general and put it into words, when I began choreographing to songs that helped me heal and understand my thought and emotions, I noticed a change in myself. I noticed that when I walked out the studio door after class, this weight had been lifted from me. And I began to really learn that when we can move our emotions through our bodies, when we can speak and share and comfort one another and reveal our human-ness, then we can all not only lift a weight off of ourselves but from each other, too.
This weight can be physical (in the form of pounds and extra “storage”) or emotional (in the form of stress, anxiety, inability to forgive, etc). Oula helps us to shed these layers that we’ve been holding onto, either for protection or for other reasons, and help us come to this place of lightness. Isn’t that what we ultimately want? To not be weighed down by anything that keeps us from our true nature, which is light and love?
I think it’s also important to say that just because we need to heal, doesn’t mean we are broken or injured, necessarily. Sometimes, yes, but sometimes it’s more of a general maintenance. You don’t just eat a salad one day and think you are healthy. Health and wellbeing are more of a maintenance program for the body, and the mind and spirit are no different. A little 3.5 minute song to dance out some rage doesn’t make you an angry person, just as dancing to a sad song and feeling all of the feels doesn’t make you a sad person, and just like grinding your hips to a sexy song doesn’t mean you’re not going to ditch your family and hit up the club tonight:) If anything, giving yourself this space in class to dance and sing these feelings helps you release them, not hold onto them.
So here’s my invitation for the next three months. Are you ready? My first request, though, is if you are in this group and find yourself judging or wondering why people share intimate details of their lives with strangers, then please excuse yourself from this space. We ain’t got not room for judgment here, which is completely counterproductive to the goal.
Ok, the rest of you still in? Let’s collectively make it a priority to start talking, singing, journaling, creating dialogue or any other avenue that feels right to share our stories and songs. Your words aren’t only the lyrics to your own story, but they can help others put words to their own songs and stories, too. And I promise, the sound of “me too, me too, me too” will help reassure you that you are not alone in all of this human “stuff.”
Here, in our little corner of the internet, you can talk about songs and lyrics that speak to you and how they affect you. You can talk about your own stories and how Oula helps you to process them. You can ask questions and create dialogue. We will be joining you in this! And in class, don’t be afraid to use your voice. Sing, shout, talk to one another and get comfortable with your voice. It is part of the song, our collective song.
If you’re still with me here, yay you! Now go have a fun weekend, everyone!!