In an instant, all those plans went out the window as we shut our doors and locked ourselves inside for the foreseeable future.
I went from being a freelancer, a choreographer, dancer, journalist, teacher, text consultant and a few other things to the director of a modest, mixed-aged home school.
And the strange thing that I am experiencing these days is relief.Read more
Last year, at the end of the weeklong celebration of Purim, my older daughter declared that she would like to dress up as a character from Disney’s Descendants next year. For the other days, Famous Day, Pajama Day, Countries Day, we made a plan a week in advance. We knew exactly what she wanted to dress up as on each day. The night before the first dress-up day, we tried on her Frida Kahlo costume (which was gorgeous I must admit). She looked at herself in the mirror, beaming.
The next morning, as she was going to get dressed she said,
“I don’t want to dress up.”Read more
One of the things I love most about dance is the way it distorts my perception of time. On stage, time is stretched far beyond its usual limits. There is time for everything, for thinking, feeling, moving, connected, making decisions and renewal. A short piece can encapsulate an entire world if approached correctly. In his book Blink, Malcolm Gladwell writes of this phenomenon regarding athletes.
“The basketball superstar Larry Bird used to say at a critical moments in the game, the court would go quiet and the players would seem to be moving in slow motion.”Read more
As a parent, and as a choreographer, these are some of the hardest moments. They are situations that require creativity, calm, patience and endurance. It is not easy to prize someone free of a complaint spiral, sometimes it’s nearly impossible. But, for me and my child, being able to identify that we are in one is somehow useful. And knowing that there is an end to it, that it will eventually resolve, provides the encouragement I, at least, need to get through.Read more
It is impossible to divorce the emotional strain of bringing a child into the world from the physical effort. They are two sides of an intense, forty-week-long journey and they are both valid, legitimate and real elements of it. Doctors and healthcare providers need to broaden their approach to pregnancy and the care given to women needs a more holistic perspective on mind and body.Read more
The lack of language makes parenting small children a guessing game and an exercise in acknowledging physical cues. It’s a lot of trial and error, a lot of looking, listening, feeling, intuiting.
When, at a year and some, that channel of communication starts to open, it is exhilarating for all involved.Read more
On some molecular level, crossing the threshold into parenthood stripped away a few layers of my outer skin. I spent my twenties gearing myself up to face the world, pummeling through the subway system in New York City, bartending into the wee hours. I was an armadillo. Becoming a mom was like going through security at the airport. Metaphorically, I arrived with a hoodie and boots and came out the other side in socked feet and a tank top. Bare minimum.Read more
Technicity is when a person can so fully embody their technique that they move through it, beyond it. Technicity is a catch 22 of sorts. In order to let go of technique, you need to first have it and that takes time and hard work. Then, once you have it, it’s very hard to let go of those hard-won abilities. But, the dancers I most admire are those who can do just that, leave technique behind and move forward, literally and figuratively.Read more
It is important to me that my kids see me as strong, capable, independent and brave. I relish in their admiration of my abilities; be it pancake making, assembling Ikea furniture or going on stage. But when I think of the values that I can pass on to my children from the life I have and continue to live, the things I have learned for myself, not the ones that were taught to me, I think of resilience. I think of how important it is to be able to endure defeat. Rejoicing in success is natural, easy, but picking yourself up from rejection takes work, it takes optimism and strength and stubbornness. It is necessary in our professional and personal lives.Read more
When I look at my two children huddled together over a book, squished together under a blanket or climbing one over the other to reach a toy, I think of that physical intimacy. I remember the same kind of informal yet deeply familiar contact throughout my childhood with my sister.
The little one places her hand on the big one’s leg without even noticing she’s doing it. The touch is so natural to them both, it goes completely unnoted. That physical connection is one of the most comforting and delightful parts of childhood and, as such, of life.Read more