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HOW WE WORK

What to expect on the Open Floor 

Our dance floor is a place for learning, playing, feeling, connecting with friends and strangers alike.

 

All Open Floor events begin with a warm-up. This is a time for you to transition from traveling to being present in the room. The teacher will play music and you can stretch, walk, or dance in whatever way brings warmth and movement to your body. The choreography comes from inside of you, and comes out through your own unique expression.

 

At workshops and classes, the teacher will offer clear and simple instructions to guide you throughout the session.

 

At Community Dances, the teacher will play arrival music, followed by a short introduction/induction, and some awareness principles to bring to your practice. This is followed by a long set of uninterrupted music. There are no instructed steps to follow.

 

IF YOU’RE NOT SURE WHAT TO DO

We all get stuck sometimes. When this happens, here are some things to try.

 

  • Stay present
    As with any meditation practice, all manner of things show up when we dance: emotions, thoughts, brilliant ideas, stressful relationships, sore hips – expect them all. Let anything that arises become physical movement, dance it. Speak it in movement rather than words.

     

  • Pace yourself
    Listen to own body and don't be concerned with what others are doing. You can slow things down regardless of the music, and like a swimmer treading water, you’ll recharge.

     

  • Challenge yourself
    If you usually dance alone, try inviting someone else to dance. If you always prefer dancing with a partner, try going solo. Change your tempo. Break a habit. Imitate someone-- put yourself in another's dance shoes. Create your own choreography as you allow your thoughts and feelings to take visible shapes.

     

  • It’s not about the music
    The music is simply there to inspire your movements. Love a song or hate it, how you respond is up to you. Use everything as nourishment for your dance.

     

  • Don’t give up
    There are times when we all tire out, get uncomfortable, bored, or self-conscious. Try moving just one body part or make a repetitive movement for a while. Bounce gently in place, sway side to side, or do a hand dance until a change naturally occurs. It will.

     

  • Enjoy yourself
    Excessive seriousness will slow you down.

 

DANCE FLOOR ETIQUETTE

Please arrive on time. We close the doors half an hour after the start of all events. For workshops, arrive 15 minutes before the start of each day.  

 

Leave valuables in your car.

 

Bring only water and a layer for warmth into the room. Leave glass bottles, backpacks, and electronics off the dance floor.

Talking is great - just not on the dance floor. Please talk with your body, not your voice. Take any verbal conversations outside.

Joyful enthusiasm and exertion are always welcome and encouraged. For the safety of everyone in the room, please no lifting people off their feet or swinging others around on our crowded dance floors.

 

Not everyone wants to dance with others. Someone who you've danced with before may not want to partner later, even on the same day.

 

Be sensitive to the cues of others. Touching without permission is often unwelcome. Here are some ways to check non-verbally if partnering is wanted:

  • Make eye contact.
     

  • Notice if they are moving towards or away from you
     

  • Check non-verbally with a thumb up and down if you're not sure

 

As we live with the ebb and flow of COVID, there are always bright-colored wristbands

at the door for those who want to keep social distance from other dancers. That doesn’t mean necessarily being alone – just keeping a respectful distance.
 

Take responsibility for communicating your own boundaries. Here are some additional steps if you don't want to dance with someone.
 

  • Give a clear message with your body. Turn your back, close your eyes, or move away.
     

  • If non-verbal cues aren’t working, say a simple “no thank you.”
     

  • If you struggle continually with someone on the dance floor, send an email to info@openfloordance.org and we’ll do our best to help