It has been a particularly tough week for me artistically and, therefore, emotionally (those two are inherently tied, for better or worse). My professional dance company, Code f.a.d. Company, is now five years old, and I have been planning this week for our upcoming 6th season. As part of my planning, I started gathering information from our dancers so we can set rehearsals and book more performances, and that is when the bad news started coming in. I knew it was coming from some, but getting that official confirmation that many of our dancers will not be around next season has been pretty heart-breaking.
We are a small, modern dance company with a very small budget and so all of our dancers (and our director – me) have other jobs to support ourselves. So, as careers change, work schedules change, school obligations pick up, significant others move, etc – it naturally affects what everyone can do in their “free time.” Dealing with everyone’s schedules as always been a challenge; though, we have always made it work. For five years, I have been so lucky to have the same core group of six dancers with Code f.a.d., year after year. (We have gained one new dancer that has stuck around for two seasons now, but outside of her our company has remained the same.)
Five years is a pretty good run. It is, I know. Knowing that, however, doesn’t make it any easier to enter into this next season, where everything seems to be changing so dramatically. I feel like I’ve been mourning the loss of the “old” Code f.a.d. Company this week. That being said, I finally feel ready for the change, and ready to move forward.
What made the difference? Well, yesterday morning I taught a yoga class outside in Fred Fletcher Park. Prior to class, I was thinking about what should be our focus or intention, and of course, I couldn’t help noticing the great surrounding of the park. I am used to teaching indoors, so this was my opportunity to call on nature for inspiration. I decided to stay simple and invite the students (and myself) just to remain open to everything around us during our practice.
It was a lovely practice full of sunshine (that seemed to follow me even as I frequently adjusted my mat sideways to try to remain in the shade), lots of birds chirping, the wind blowing around us, the smells of dewy grass, and so much more! I did my best just to take it all in, and I believe it must have worked.
At the end of class, I always bring the students back to where we started – remembering our focus or intention – and considering how that focus can travel off our mat. As I restated our intention to remain open, the greater meaning flooded into my awareness. Remain open to all that is around us in our community and our world. Remain open to new thoughts and new experiences. Open yourself to change and you will continue to grow.
I took these feelings with me into Code f.a.d. Company’s Board of Directors meeting yesterday afternoon, and I found myself ready to get excited about new directions the company may take in its 6th year. I found a sense of calmness even after talking to one our of dancers and hearing her say exactly what I had been thinking constantly over the past week…
Five years is a pretty good run. It is. But it’s not over yet – just changing… and I’m open to whatever new experiences are on their way to us.
Open. Change. Grow.