M.I.N.D.ful Monday Musings #024
Current State Of Mind
Hello beautiful humans!
This week was a wonderful week, I am choosing to live in abundance. There were definitely different highlights among the week from teaching privates and aha moments, to my mind around musicality, to serendipitous moments in the universe (a link to a post about this moment in the recent content section), to support being shown and given, to insightful intellectual conversations over coffee about relating with other humans, to finishing a really cool book on Audible on wealth consciousness called “A Happy Pocket Full Of Money”. In regards to the book, the title does not do it justice, it should be called “How Quantum Physics Affect Your Being On Wealth In Your Life”. Highly recommend that book as it has really put in my soul in high vibration!
Here’s the diagram of the communication channels I mentioned last week. I love the use of gradients but the big question that even sparked this idea in my brain was, which communication channels out of these gets used THE LEAST and what is the ripple effect of that communication channel not being used to a dance scene at large? Open to any thoughts/ideas on this! This will eventually be a blog, podcast, and YouTube video.
Being aware of these communication channels is one of the reasons I know that even why I teach by myself, I can never really FEEL 100% complete unless the follower instructor and I have dedicated enough time is properly lesson planning because I have bias in my instruction as a primary lead, versus someone who is a primary follow.
Another musing that has been on mind is at least what I’m calling now as the timeless power of music has via nostalgia. Here’s are some of my thoughts as they stand today at least:
“The superpower of nostalgia in music is how music can open a time portal that allows you to experience the past, present, and future in nostalgic bliss!!
The past in the memories you have associated with the song, the present of being in the present moment of a variety of happy and negative emotions, and the future of knowing the song like the back of your hand, so you're able to predict what's coming next on the song as the future becomes the present and transforms itself into more golden nostalgic memories to add to your collection of that song until the next time you happen to hear that song again.
Maybe a bit bittersweet preciousness in not knowing which time will the last time you hear the song again in this lifetime.”
Thanks for opening and reading another newsletter from me! Enjoy the rest of the newsletter and your week!
Song I'm Currently Jamming To
Cool remix of Iniko’s Jericho, zouky vibes for sure.
- A post about MSPs (moves, steps, & patterns) and using less force.
- A post about simplifying the dance instead of using more force.
- A throwback podcast with Laurent Yishu from 7 years ago about the importance of the basics in kizomba.
- A philosophical rant on the timeless power of nostalgia in music enhanced by ChatGPT.
- A reflective post on a crazy universal moment of serendipity that happened last week.
Photo of the Week
I used Adobe Firefly (an AI image generation tool) to create some visual inspiration for thoughts around nostalgia, music, time, and the spectrum of human emotions. I still feel at the edge of being able to even wrap my mind around this concept. I asked AI to create a golden time portal of musical notes in space. This was my favorite one.
Cool Video I'm Watching
On a short rabbit hole dive into lyricism and poetry I stumbled across an interesting video of a snippet of Nas and a Harvard Poetry Professor breaking down some of the lyrics in one of his songs.
10/26-30: Bailame Dance Festival - Minneapolis, MN
11/3-5: Neokiz Weekender New York - Warwick, NY
11/17-20: Neokiz Intensives - Atlanta, GA
12/1-4: Attending Elevation Zouk Festival - Denver, CO
05/3-6: Neokiz Weekender in Edmonton - Edmonton, AB, Canada
05/17-20: Kizowna 2024 - Kelowna, BC, Canada
07/20-24: 8th Annual Neo Kizomba Festival - Austin, TX
Question Of the Week
How much does nostalgia play a factor in your happiness in your dance journey?
Answer of the Week
Jennifer F. from Jacksonville, FL sent me the following:
Hey Charles! I have a question for you. I went to a kizomba class yesterday and participated as a lead. Almost everyone there was a beginner. I remember how you said not to use force to lead followers, otherwise that's all they're going to know. What do you do when you're dancing with beginning followers and they are pulling away from you and you can't get them to hear what you're trying to lead? Do you simply allow them to move and 'follow' them?
I guess I wouldn't say I was using 'force' per se, but I found that I really had to ground my frame and almost stiffen it so that they could "hear" me. I didn't have the impression I was dragging them, more that I was trying to stay connected.
What are your thoughts?
Reading this there’s so many perspectives to look at, from the lesson planning, the MSPs (moves, steps, patterns) that were taught, to what you define as force and how much force/intention is “too much”.
From the lens of the lesson plan, since this was a beginner class I feel I can safely assume some basic steps were being taught. I wonder if there was a follower instructor present and/or if there was follower technique being taught on the basics of weight transfer and how to become more balanced and received to the intention of the lead through the frame contact points.
From the lens of the MSPs, I feel if I’m dancing with a less experienced follower and I’m trying execute a pattern. At this point in my journey, I’m able to breakdown the move into its core components and try those individually versus trying to make a 8+ count pattern happen. I believe goal of a pattern should be to understand the building blocks of that patterns then break the pattern down with musical execution making sense to the phrasing of the song.
From the question of what is too much force? Everyone has to assess how much force is too much use in a particular dance. I find myself less attached to the “outcome” of doing a particular move or pattern. Is there a reward or punishment for me and the person I’m dancing to do a particular “cool move/pattern”? I feel a good lead knows there limit how much is too much and setting a boundary to not use more force, if the follower isn’t getting the move, I simplify the dance to the MSPs I’m able to do within the amount of energy I’m willing to use in the dance. It’s not sustainable for my happiness or my body to use so much force my body is achy and more prone to potential injury. The less energy I use in each dance, the longer I’m able to dance that night, and also for my dance life/career.
Leaders may think they are being helpful by using a stronger intention to “less experienced” followers, but "To this point, if a newer follow is often met with stronger intention and less softness, the follow will get used to this, and that is not the end goal. It also means that heavy leading will be expected, creating a negative feedback loop. “Helping” in the short term might be detrimental to everyone in the long term."
Hopefully this is helpful Jennifer!!
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Dope Dance Resources
- A cool project to create a global directory of dance events for dancers, artists, and organizers!
- Find out how you can thrive at your next dance event with the Ultimate Dance Event Survival Kit.
- Find out how you can organize your dance journey with the Dancer’s Training Journal 1.0.
- Level up your kiz online with Mr. Neokiz!
- Learn more about the Ultimate Musicality Course For Dancers to level up your musicality!
Thanks for reading!
Thoughts and feedback on the newsletter or on anything covered within are always welcome, just hit reply. The thing I love most about writing this newsletter is follow-up interactions with readers.