"Where All Of Me Is Free"
In the norms of everyday life,
My arm movements are fast and uncontrollable.
Whenever I want to do something,
Plenty of thinking and planning must happen first.
Then, I pray I can accomplish the desired task without hitting anyone or anything.
My left arm is pretty cooperative
Until I need to do something that takes any fine gross motor control.
For example, I shake someone’s hand with the left,
But we play “Catch Me If You Can” before we can actually shake.
As for my right arm, I can’t trust it at all around other people, so I tuck it behind me.
I tell people not to blame me for what happens with it because it has a mind of its own,
Which is why it has affectionately become known as Maurice.
Loved ones are very much acquainted with his mischievous nature.
Some days he gets tired of being restrained
And squirms around or stiffens so much that I can't concentrate on anything.
Knowing my limits, he won't stop until I set him free.
However, when I enter a Body Shift dance class, workshop, or performance;
It's magical and I'm safe and totally transformed!
All dancers must remain aware of each other and their surroundings;
Leaving room for my arms to do whatever they want.
They offer counter-balancing and general support to fellow dancers
And move in ways that even surprise me.
Fellow dancers only react to them
Instead of judging them and making them conform to what is expected.
Too bad the whole world can’t be more like a big mixed-ability dance class.
If it was, it would be more inclusive of everyone and we could all live in peace.
|Taken by PBS' KLRU: Tanya Winters (who uses crutches) and Susie Angel (who uses a wheelchair) preparing to stand with only each other for support.|
Want to join Body Shift and experience the magic yourself? The all-level Elements dance improv class, held every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month from 2:30-4:30pm at Town Lake YMCA in Austin, is a great way to get involved. See you there!