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P4 Freedance longThis week, we played with Principle 4: FreeDance ~ and how it applies to our movement, the integration of body and mind, and our lives! FreeDance is a process that invites me to lose myself, redefine myself and find myself. What we do in class has the potential to rewire the body and mind to break habit and find our authentic selves no matter what we’re doing. FreeParent! FreeGarden! FreeCook! FreeWrite! FreeLove! Free your mind and the rest will follow.

On Wednesday, we marked the 79th birthday of one of my favorite poets, Mary Oliver. Her poem, The Summer Day, is a perfect one for Principle 4. As is the anniversary of September 11. We never know what will happen. Let’s be here now and let go of our small selves to uncover what is possible.

Below are the playlists from this week as well as Oliver’s The Summer Day.

Next week, I will be celebrating acac’s 30th Anniversary on Monday and Tuesday and Saturday with a playlist of 1984-ish music:
Monday, Sept 15, 1045-12noon, Albemarle Square Studio A
Tuesday, Sept 16, 9-1010am, Downtown Group Ex Studio
Saturday, Sept 20, 9-1010am, Downtown Studio A
Wear your best 80s gear so I won’t be the only one! And there will probably be 80s tunes dropped in all week!

Dance on. Shine on.
Susan sig

P.S. FOCUS POCUS MUSIC GIVE AWAY (MORE WAYS TO SCORE GREAT NIA MUSIC!): The offer is still good that I made in the Principle 2: Natural Time Post: email me (sjmnia@gmail.com) a picture of yourself wearing the 13-Moon Calendar color of the day (or wear the color to class and TELL me that you did it intentionally and didn’t just HAPPEN to) and I’ll send you (or hand it to you if you’re in Cville) a CD of official Nia music, either Sanjana or Dreamwalker or the Official Playlist for the Unofficial Guide! And now there are two more ways to play: (1) wear some sort of 80s-ish garb to class next week in celebration of acac’s 30th anniversary or (2) comment below (or on the Focus Pocus Facebook Page) about how you used Principle 4 in your life recently! I’m only announcing this here so only Focus Pocus readers are in on this! [And even though it sounds like a McDonald’s contest disclaimer: good in the US only (unless you want me to email you the tunes); limit one per person; while supplies last; void where prohibited.]

Monday, Sep 8, 2014, 1045am ~ The Unofficial Guide: FreeDance

The Rising 4:47 Bruce Springsteen
Human Love 5:20 Dirty Vegas
Saracen 5:03 Jeff Stott
Smokey Quartz 6:59 Shakatura
Born 2B Wild 7:59 Puff Dragon
Raag Trance 5:32 Biddu
Club Thing 4:25 Yoav
Boogaloop 4:33 Ursula 1000
What Goes Around … Comes Around 5:11 Justin Timberlake
Hairy Piano 8:35 Moodswings

Tuesday, Sep 9, 2014, 9am ~ The Unofficial Guide: FreeDance

Driver 4:12 Galen Butler
Clouds 6:33 Feuerhake
Takshaka 10:42 Makayo
Lung Fu 7:41 Galen Butler
Come With Us 4:58 Chemical Brothers
Maha Lakshmi 5:19 El Cosmo Group
Denmark 5:07 Chemical Brothers
Unwritten 4:19 Natasha Bedingfield
Lavender Hill 4:33 Lex van Someren
Ascension 4:52 Lex van Someren

Wednesday, Sep 10, 2014, 1055am ~ The Unofficial Guide: FreeDance

Use Me 3:44 Bill Withers
Cookie 5:03 Candy Dulfer
Mr. Slim 4:06 Candy Dulfer
Beautiful (Radio Mix) 3:54 Audio Adrenaline
Soullala 4:08 Candy Dulfer
Complicated 4:07 Yonder Mountain String Band
Dance Til You Bop 5:10 Candy Dulfer
Born This Way 4:20 Lady Gaga
Fire to Me 4:36 Hyper/The Crystal Method
2025 4:45 Candy Dulfer
Woke Up This Morning 3:55 Ruthie Foster
Try 3:45 Colbie Caillat
Horizon 4:00 Garth Stevenson

The Summer Day by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Thursday, Sep 11, 2014, 9am ~ The Unofficial Guide: FreeDance

Human Love 5:20 Dirty Vegas
Beautiful (Radio Mix) 3:54 Audio Adrenaline
Saracen 5:03 Jeff Stott
Just the Way You Are 3:41 Bruno Mars
Free 2:29 Donavon Frankenreiter
Free Your Mind 4:52 En Vogue
Complicated 4:07 Yonder Mountain String Band
Born This Way 4:20 Lady Gaga
Fire to Me 4:36 Hyper/The Crystal Method
2025 4:45 Candy Dulfer
Woke Up This Morning 3:55 Ruthie Foster
Try 3:45 Colbie Caillat
Hairy Piano 8:35 Moodswings

NIA JAM at ACAC DOWNTOWN – Open to Everybody ~ Members and Non-members

Friday, September 26, 2014, 545-7pm, ACAC Downtown Group Exercise Studio
Susan, Kate and Kayde welcome fall with a grounding and energizing Jam that interweave three powerful Nia routines: Feeling, U, and Passion! All are welcome, please join us!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT NIA?

For more information about Nia and this rich system of training and learning? Everything Nia is at http://www.nianow.com…

If you’re traveling or moving, you can find a teacher or classes wherever you’re going.

Interested in teaching or deepening your practice? Check out the Nia White Belt Training. They are offered all around the world so you can find one near you or where you may want to go!

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rushin refugee AngelouObamaIt’s really something, this addiction to rushing. I’m finding that it’s more than just about scheduling less and doing one thing at a time.

The habit runs deeper than that.

What with taking care of business and taking care of others and taking care of myself, what choice do I have but to hurry and rush?

And then yesterday with the passing of Maya Angelou, such a bright inspiring source, well, dammit, we just don’t have that much time. There is so much I want to do and say and feel and read and write and move and see and be that it’s no wonder I feel the push to rush. And that’s not even to mention all the beliefs I have around equating my worth and value with what I accomplish.

Sheesh.

Since this has turned out to be an iceberg of a focus, I’m officially declaring June 2014 to be Savoring Month. Each week in June, we’ll focus on an aspect of savoring: Time, Process, Seeing, Nourishment and Living Meditation (or that’s what it looks like now, anyway).

On Wednesdays in June, I will offer a Rushin’ Refugee Report in a comment on the Rushin’ Refugee post and on the Focus Pocus Facebook page about how I’m doing with my experiment in breaking my rushing habit and doing more savoring. In particular, my personal focus is on eating (fork down, chew, swallow breathe, relax), drinking (sip and breathe, sip and breathe, even after yoga), and driving (leave extra time to get there without the adrenaline rush), but I may throw some other observations in there, too.

And today, in honor of Maya Angelou, allow yourself to be inspired…and allow others to be inspired by you. (The two poems that I used in class this week are below.)

Dance on. Shine on.

Susan sig

NOTE TO THOSE ON FACEBOOK WHO HAVE “LIKED” FOCUS POCUS:

Facebook has changed the way it shares information in your News Feed. If you have “Liked” Focus Pocus, thank you. If you would like to get Focus Pocus information in your news feed, please go to the Focus Pocus Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/FocusPocusNow and on the “Like” box there is a gray down arrow, click on that and select “Get Notifications.” Thanks again, everybody!

Monday, May 26, 2014, 1045am ~ Rushin’ Refugee

Kecharitomene 6:35 Loreena McKennitt
Center Of The Sun 5:01 Conjure One Feat. Poe
Hero Dead And Gone (Discotheque Mix) 4:55 De-Phazz
Qalanderi 6:55 Cheb I Sabbah
I Know What I Know 3:13 Paul Simon
The Boy in the Bubble 3:59 Paul Simon
Coolsville 4:53 Rick Braun
Sexual Revolution 4:48 Macy Gray
Wake Me Up 4:10 Avicii
Beautiful (Radio Mix) 3:54 Audio Adrenaline
Falling Into You 4:19
Céline Dion
Under African Skies 3:37 Paul Simon
The Boy In The Bubble 4:30 Peter Gabriel

Tuesday, May 27, 2014, 9am ~ Rushin’ Refugee

Sofa Rockers [Richard Dorfmeister Remix] 8:34 Sofa Surfers
The Hush 5:24 Rae & Christian
Nostalgia Worship 6:46 Bassnectar
Air Batucada 4:40 Thievery Corporation
Open Your Heart 5:46 M People
Hermes 4:09 Carlos Santana
Run (Radio Edit) 2:41 Gnarls Barkley
La Da Da 3:32 The Makepeace Brothers
The Remedy (I Won’t Worry) 4:16 Jason Mraz
Colour In My Name (Featuring Precise) 6:08 Spiral System
Falling Slowly 4:04 Glen Hansard, Marketa Irglova
Unidentified Stillness/water 4:39 Unidentified*

* I hate to include unidentified music in my playlists, but this piece was too lovely not to use in class. I use the Shazam app to identify music but it didn’t recognize this one. If anyone has software or other means for identifying music, let me know!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 1055am ~ Rushin’ Refugee

Éireann 5:10 Afro Celt Sound System
Marisi 6:33 Cantoma
Alba 5:16 Paul Mounsey Featuring Nahoo
In Caelum Fero 7:49 Adiemus/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Miriam Stockley
Dalmore 3:59 Nahoo
Stranger in a Strange Land 6:20 Nahoo
Adagio for Strings [Remix by Ferry Corsten] 6:35 William Orbit
Phenomenal Woman 4:24 Ruthie Foster
Kayama 7:58 Adiemus/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Miriam Stockley
Hymn 2:42 Adiemus/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Miriam Stockley

Thursday, May 29, 2014, 9am ~ Rushin’ Refugee

Égypte 4:28 Cirque du Soleil
Rumeurs 10:09 Cirque du Soleil
Caravena 5:14 Cirque du Soleil
Kunya Sobé 5:20 Cirque du Soleil
En Ville 4:59 Cirque du Soleil
Birimbau 6:12 Cirque du Soleil
Sandstorm 7:26 Darude
Rondo 6:07 Cirque du Soleil
Kalimando 6:31 Cirque du Soleil
Horizon 4:00 Garth Stevenson

Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

When Great Trees Fall by Maya Angelou

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.
When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.
When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,
promised walks
never taken.
Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance,
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
caves.
And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.

Two Upcoming No-Membership-Required-Anywhere Classes in June ~

Friday, June 20, 6-7pm at the Buck Mountain Episcopal Church Parish Hall in Earlysville ~ more info to come soon

Saturday, June 21, 5-615pm at ACAC Downtown ~ Nia Jam with Adrienne, Mary Linn and Susan
As part of a club-wide solstice celebration, we’ll be teaching a special Saturday evening Jam with a reception on the rooftop deck afterwards (weather permitting, of course).
Members (including instructors!) can bring a guest for free, so grab a friend and be part of the celebration of summer!

NIA TRAINER, JULIE WYLIE, COMING TO CHARLOTTESVILLE

We’re excited to support a weekend of classes and workshops with Nia Trainer, Julie Wylie, July 18-20 and then a Nia White Belt training September 16-22. Events will include lots of things for everyBODY as well as for belts wanting to reconnect to the principles and practices. More info coming soon. For now, mark your calendar!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT NIA?

For more information about Nia and this rich system of training and learning? Everything Nia is at http://www.nianow.com…

If you’re traveling or moving, you can find a teacher or classes wherever you’re going. 

Interested in teaching or deepening your practice? Check out the Nia White Belt Training. There is one planned in Charlottesville in September (see above) and lots of other places, too.

Maya-Angelou quote 1Hokey Dinah, I love to sub for Anne on Saturday mornings! I’ve been looking forward to it all week. We focused on remembering that the body is our oldest friend, our most steadfast companion, and our wisest ally. Inherently, the body is always doing its best for us, always doing its best to heal and be well — no matter what we feed it, how we move it, or how we talk to and about it. Even so, it is easy to feel frustrated, angry, or even betrayed by its illness, injury, or appearance. In this morning’s practice we spent our time listening to sensation and responding as we would to an old, beloved friend.

Do I have to say it? Okay, I will. It rocked. It was sweaty, dancing, wiggling, singing, serious fun. Thanks to all, and particularly to my old friend Victoria who drove a long way to reconnect after a long time (you are a gem) and to Anne for giving me the chance to come and play today (you are a gem, too!).

Do join us at the retreat that Rebecca George and I are leading March 28-30, 2014 – Life As An Artist. Whoever you are, whatever your relationship is to making art, this will be a fun, restorative, and possibly transformational weekend. Now’s a great time to register. Or any time before October 10, actually. Which is soon. So check it out here.

Below is the playlist from class. Go buy some music today. Or dig up some old 70s tunes and put them on your iPod. Then dance in your kitchen. Hello, old friend.

Have fun. Dance on.
Love,
Susan

P.S. I understand from a reader of this blog that there are sometimes ads that appear at the bottom of my postings. Sometimes ads that are not, how shall I say, in complete alignment with my message. As the writer of the blog, interestingly, they never show me said ads. So tell me, dear readers, are they a bother? Should I look into strategies for ridding Focus Pocus of them? Do tell.

Hello Old Friend ~ Saturday, September 28, 2013, 9am

Big Sky – 4:04 – Annie Lennox
Down To Earth – 5:59 – Peter Gabriel
The Fire From Within – 4:12 – Tryptamoon
Freedom – 2:50 – Tyrone Wells
Walk Into The Sun – 5:21 – Dirty Vegas
I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like) – 3:52 – Michael Franti
Exit Through You – 5:52 – Big Blue Ball featuring Joseph Arthur, Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger
Long Train Running (Groovy Dooby Mix) – 5:07 – DJ’s Brothers
One Billion Hands – 4:05 – Lourds Lane
The River – 5:31 – Suzanne Sterling
Hello Old Friend – 3:43 – Kim Richey
Phenomenal Woman – 4:24 – Ruthie Foster
Plegaria Para el Alma de Layla – 3:20 – Pedro Aznar

Crocus flower in the snowWhat a great time I had teaching this morning. There just ain’t nothing like a Saturday morning Nia class, and y’all make it juicygood! Thanks to everybody who came to play and sweat and shake our petals free! As promised, here is the playlist, the poetry of Dar Williams and Maya Angelou, and fun bonus video!

As ever, please always let me know how I can help more,
Love,
Susan

Three Planes: Push Myself Up Through the Dirt – Saturday, March 23, 2013, 9am

One Billion Rising – 5:19 – Catherine Feeny Living In The Moment – 3:55 – Jason Mraz
Survivor – 3:49 – Destiny’s Child
Free Your Mind – 4:52 – En Vogue
Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) – 3:42 – Kelly Clarkson
Break The Chain – 4:32 – Tena Clark
One Billion Hands – 4:05 – Lourds Lane
Dog Days Are Over – 3:41 – Florence And The Machine
Do Your Thing – 4:45 – Basement Jaxx
Proud – 4:30 – Heather Small
Spring Street – 4:52 – Dar Williams
Father I Know – 3:08 – Jamie Catto
Phenomenal Woman – 4:24 – Ruthie Foster
Beautiful – 4:06 – India.Arie

Spring Street by Dar Williams

I’m sorry that I left you with your questions all alone
But I was too happy driving and too angry to drive home
I was thinking about the easy courage of my distant friends
They said, I could let this bridge wash out and never make amends

Can I blow this small town make a big sound
Like the star of a film noir postcard
Can I just forget the frames I shared with you

And I can’t believe what they’re saying
They’re saying I can change my mind
Start over on Spring Street, I’m welcome anytime

There are spring street storefront daisies floating on their neon stems
There are new shirts on the clothes racks should I feel like one of them
I can find a small apartment where a struggling artist died
And pretend because I pay the rent I know that pain inside

Yeah, let’s watch the tour bus stop and tell us
Here’s the scene of a spring green life dream
Take the best part write it in your caffeine diary

And I can’t believe what they’re saying
They’re saying I can leave tonight
Start over on Spring Street, I’m welcome anytime

This year April had a blizzard just to show she did not care
And the new dead leaves
They made the trees look like children with gray hair
But I’ll push myself up through the dirt and shake my petals free
I’m resolved to being born and so resigned to bravery

Yeah the one who leaves this also grieves this
Too much rain on the prairie flood plain
Houses floating, love is like that we built on the river, year

And that’s to say, yeah I’m leaving
But I don’t have go there
I don’t have to go to Spring Street ’cause it’s spring everywhere

Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou (sung by Ruthie Foster)

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

And finally, a fun and beautiful video of The Weepies song, The World Spins Madly On, that we danced to on Wednesday (thank you, Lynette!):

obr logo 1Thanks to everybody for making it such a fun and joy-full week dancing One Billion Rising!  Below is the complete playlist for the routine (please note that I could only find the OBR songs on the www.onebillionrising.org site, so do check there if you’d like to download them.)  Also, below are the readings that I used in classes.

And remember that we can all make choices that are both challenging and healing.  Change starts inside.

May we all be safe, happy, healthy and peaceful.

Love,

Susan

May I (you, we, etc.) be safe and well
May I be happy and content
May I be healthy and strong
May I be peaceful and at ease
~ Metta Meditation ~

Take courage, friends.
The way is often hard, the path is never clear,
and the stakes are very high.
Take courage,
For deep down, there is another truth:
You are not alone.
~ Wayne Arnason

May I be a guard for all those who are unprotected,
A guide for those who journey on the road,
For those who wish to go across the water,
May I be a boat, a raft, a bridge.

For all those ailing in the world,
Until their every sickness has been healed,
May I myself become for them
The doctor, nurse, the medicine itself.
~ Shantideva

One Billion Rising

One Billion Rising – 5:19 – Catherine Feeny

Brand New Me – 3:54 – Alicia Keys

Survivor – 3:49 – Destiny’s Child

Free Your Mind – 4:52 – En Vogue

Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) – 3:42 – Kelly Clarkson

Break The Chain – 4:32 – Tena Clark

One Billion Hands – 4:05 – Lourds Lane

Dog Days Are Over – 3:41 – Florence And The Machine

I Know – 3:49 – Dionne Farris

Strength, Courage & Wisdom – 4:58 – India.Arie

Shaking the Tree – 6:26 – Peter Gabriel / Youssou N’Dour

I Am That I Am – 4:28 – Peter Tosh

Phenomenal Woman – 4:24 – Ruthie Foster

Beautiful – 4:06 – India.Arie

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