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Dancing to create space

June 2021

Dancing to create space

In the dance space, I explore how movement creates space. Both physical space around and within me, and emotional and mental space. Becoming aware of my (automatic) mental patterns helps me explore new possibilities and opens up new opportunities. By embodying my discoveries in bodily expression, I anchor them in my body as resources to draw on in my daily life.



Creating space around

When you feel like there are too many people in a dance space. You feel crushed and your field of vision narrows. So you tend to shrink your dance to the point of freezing. This generates frustration: there's not enough room to dance.

The teacher then invites the group to look for empty spaces to occupy. It's then that you start to see that everyone is in the middle and that there's a large space in one corner of the room. As soon as a participant moves to an empty space to occupy it. He frees up the space where he was. When several participants do so, the movement starts up again. And when everyone moves, there seems to be more room. Suddenly, it's as if the room expands. We can once again engage in wider and even faster movements.

The teacher simply invited us to change our perspective. Instead of focusing on the occupied spaces, we turn our attention to the empty ones. And that's enough to realize that there's still space, enough space for everyone. In the end, all we have to do is occupy it better.

Thanks to this change in perception, it's as if movement has created space. Moving creates space around me. My personal experience is that it also creates movement within me.


Creating space inside

The creator of the 5Rhythms Dance - Gabrielle Roth - used to say: movement is the quickest way to calm the mind. Like everything great, it's simple and obvious: sport to clear the head. After dancing, recurrent (and counter-productive) stressful thoughts fade away. I can see what's really important. I deal with things one at a time.

What Movement Medicine has taught me is that there's no need to push yourself to the point of exhaustion. At conscious dance, you can choose to go with or without intensity, depending on your needs at the time. Even when the music and the teacher's guidance call for intensity, the door is always open for you to follow your own rhythm.

Through bodily expression, we can also create space in the body and heart:

  • Body: I can breathe with greater amplitude, as if there were more space in my rib cage. My lungs can expand upwards, downwards and 360°. My neck and shoulders are relaxed. I feel stable and solid on my legs.
  • Heart: in Movement Medicine, this is where emotions are born. So our dance consists in bringing awareness and movement to the jaw clenched by unexpressed anger, fluidity to the spine frozen by fear, movement to the legs leaden by sadness, and amplitude to both arms, wide open to the joy within.

This should make you feel lighter, create space inside. A sort of house-cleaning to start afresh on a clean slate. They say nature abhors a vacuum. So when you've made room, you choose what to put in it. In other words, what's going to replace what you've let go of: more joy, serenity, love, laughter, confidence, the choice is yours.


Awareness and exploration for greater freedom

For me, the dance space is like training for life. On the parquet floor, from time to time, several people move into the same space. This also happens in real life. In this case, I see three options:

  • Reclaiming this cost-ineffective space (just in intent, physically bumping into each other is not an option!)
  • Stepping aside, i.e. leaving space for the other person
  • Dancing together, sharing, meeting

In dance, as in life, all three are possible and legitimate, depending on the situation.

If you feel like you're making the same choice over and over again, you might wonder. Our brain likes to take the path it already knows. It knows. In short, it becomes a kind of automatism, more or less conscious. And even if we judge ourselves negatively for this repetition, we continue to choose safety because it's familiar ground. But wouldn't it be better to be able to choose and use the option that suits the situation?

In dance, you can explore the option that comes naturally to you. All you have to do is walk, and every time you meet someone, you'll feel what's happening. You can also choose to test the other options, the ones that feel less natural. At first, it'll probably be totally uncomfortable.

For example, if you think you're always leaving your place and you want to assert yourself. Dance time can be a place to practice: set the intention to take your place, try as many times as you need, feel what emerges: a look, a smile, a fluid gesture, a clear movement decidedly visible? You can even test aggressive postures, which can be fun and even liberating.

If you're afraid of the consequences in life. In the dance space, you can explore playfully and lightly until you find your own style. In other words, your personal path and the unique space you need to express your freedom.



Opening up new possibilities

As a Movement Medicine teacher, my role is to guide you in the practice of "exercises" such as Tree of Life Meditation, Dancer's Awakening or MESA - Movement of Energetic Spatial Awareness. These exercises are resources to be used on a daily basis according to your needs. If we practice them regularly, we're more likely to think of them in a complicated situation. Often, we know the theory, but in a panic, we don't think about it. What's going to make you think of them when you need them?

Think about :

  • take a few minutes to breathe and feel fully present.
  • get moving physically when you feel stuck in your head
  • move to express what's on our minds and needs to get out so we can move on.

Thinking about it AND allowing yourself to take this time, to make this choice for yourself. It will be easier if it's something you're familiar with, because you've done it before.



In conclusion, I like to bring the teachings of dance into my life. When I feel constrained both inside and out, I look for empty spaces. As in dance, I change my perspective. It allows me to let go of what I can't do or be. And to concentrate fully on what is possible, to make the most of it. As in dance, the more I search, the more I find. What's more, the more space I occupy, the more room I have. New possibilities often open up.

Moving around to look at things from a different angle reveals paths that we didn't see before. It's not magic, it's mathematics.


Dancing to clear your head

Video demo


Dancing to refocus

No longer fighting against the restlessness of the mind,
Expressing this restlessness through movement.
Letting go of the wave of emotions,
Carried away by the music
Lulled by the movement of my body
Precise, relaxed, fluid.

Music: Calling by Stef Vink (Stef Vink Music)

Stef's music can be found at: https://www.patreon.com/stefvinkmusic and https://stefvink.band camp.com

Find all the videos of the 100 Days of Dance Challenge on my Vimeo account

Where and when to practice

Want to give it a try? You are welcome in your physical condition of the moment, with or without experience dance experience.

Weekly courses

Evening - Libère ta danse

Tuesday 19:30-21:30 in Aix-en-Provence - infos

A dynamic and conscious break

Tuesday 12:30-13:30 in Aix-en-Provence - infos

Wake up your body, awaken your soul

Tuesday 9am-10am on Zoom - news

(open to all - all year round)

Find all the workshops in the


Individual courses

Online via Zoom