Resource yourself


The best teachers will help you learn to resource yourself.  (Yes, I’m using resource as a verb. I live in California. We do that here.)

What I mean is this: A good chunk of my life has been spent in studios taking classes with teachers.  Or on terraces in Bali. Or in the deserts of Rajasthan.  I’ve tasted from the broad palette of egomaniacs and shamans out there. I’ve had generous teachers, strict teachers, unintelligible teachers, crazy teachers, drunk teachers, spiritual teachers (sometimes simultaneously drunk and spiritual!) – and of course most all of them were well-meaning in heart if not in practice.  And the most important thing I’ve learned is that the best teachers will not only give you information and feedback, but teach you how to find reassurance from within.  They will challenge you to grow to a point where you will have your own sense of how you’re doing. The best do not yearn to be your only source of information. If someone expects you to get their approval on everything, then that is not healthy. That is control. They are controlling you. There are some out there who would have you stay in their little nest forever instead of urging you to fly (pardon the generic metaphor) – but if you stay there then at some point you are going to start knocking over other eggs and breaking shit.

On a completely related note: today I took a one-time four hour workshop with a wonderful teacher, Ben Levy, and it appears that it may now become a regular thing. If you have ever wanted to go down the contemporary modern dance path, I urge you to try to catch a workshop with him.  It will change you forever. Giving you tools to deepen your awareness as a dancer and expand your movement base, Ben Levy is the kind of teacher who will not only ask you to fly – but will probably tell you to throw the eggs out and dive after them head first.


About Holly Shaw

Holly Shaw is a San Francisco Bay Area dancer and choreographer who has performed as a soloist with Yaelisa and Caminos Flamencos off and on for several years. Shaw is the creator of the Eve’s Elixir project, a platform for artists of contemporary world dance wanting to bring new ideas to traditional dance forms, and has produced several shows in San Francisco. Her flow between contemporary modern dance, flamenco and Middle-eastern styles makes her a unique choreographer. Shaw has spent years training Bay Area dancers in technique and improvisation, challenging them to dance from a deeper level and uncover their unique style.

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