Last night the Brave and Barefoot Dance Troupe met for our regular three-hour session. I founded and lead this troupe of vibrant beings who dance for empowerment and authentic creative expression. I gave the troupe the assignment of creating a dance piece in an hour and a half. We needed an infiltration of creativity and an intentional group-building experience. We briefly discussed the elements the piece would need.
"What will this dance piece be about?" I asked the troupe. Annie, one of the founding members, shared that we needed to play, we needed to be curious, to allow the purpose and meaning of the piece to unfold. It was clear talking about it wouldn't be enough nor even lead to anything real or tangible. We needed to dance. We needed to build the story by dancing the story. We needed to take action. Our action of choice was dance. We had the instruments of our bodies warmed up and ready. We had a common movement language (note: not verbal language) already formed.
Talking about a painting doesn't put the painting on the canvas. Once you have your canvas primed, your paints and brushes ready, and some knowledge and intuition of shadowing, texture, and form, you are ready to paint. Then you paint.
Humans are constantly talking. It's the norm now to see the seemingly bizarre people talking to themselves but in actuality talking to someone on the other end of their Bluetooth cell phone or their car speaker phone. We are talking so much. Many of us are also so busy all the time. It seems that the talking isn't helping.
Perhaps if we had more doing, more action (and intentional non-action, stepping aside to allow others to act or stepping aside to allow a situation to unfold), we would have more change, creation and growth as individuals, as workplace cultures, as families, and as nations.
Diving into the waters of doing, experiencing, and creating is incredibly exciting and can be incredibly frightening. What if when we wade out of the waters and we have nothing to show for it? What if what we have to show isn't that great? What if it's already been done? Well, that same water is nourishing you and giving you the energy to produce and create. You have to swim in it if you want to produce anything of value. All those "What If's" are simply judgments anyways.
When we are active in our own creation processes, we discover what actually desires to come out into the world. If we only talk about the dance, the painting, or the product, we tend to go with what we think is supposed to be created. Often that leads to something that is predictable, boring, flat, and bland. How could it not? All talk doesn't get us into the waters of creativity, zest, and juiciness!
This is why people who are self-employed or freelance are often creative and come to brilliant ideas and products. They have to be creative, their children and partners depend on them being authentically creative and persistent in their action. Self-employed and freelance workers can't just talk all day long.
This is why large, medium and even small corporations are often not creative. They don't need to be. Their revenue isn't dependent on action. It might even be more dependent on talk, on spoken promises made to employees, investors, and the public. Taking actions might even make corporations and employees less approved of and liked by investors or bosses. You can more easily hide behind talk. Actions you can't.
Be aware of how many words you talk this week. Be aware of how many creative actions you take. Do you want to dive into the waters of creativity more often? Do you want to live in the waters of creativity? This shift is an individual choice, an individual action. It truly does have to come from within you. The same goes for organizations. It has to come from within the organization, from the employees and especially from the managers and president.
Humans need to be active in creating. Creating is not a passive process. And it definitely doesn't come by merely talking about it. We created a dance piece that was an authentic experience, never before have we created something this soulful, layered, and dynamic. The Dance Troupe and I offer programming such as "The Dynamics of Healthy Groups," "The Body Leads the Way," and "Great Leadership, Great Membership," and more to organizations and corporations - as well as to individuals - that provides the space and place for creativity and action to unfold. Creativity is needed in all types of workplaces. Action is needed - no matter if the group is in the arts, technology, business, or education.
Cassandra Dara-Abrams founded Brave and Barefoot Dance and Yoga for the purpose of teaching dance, yoga, and body awareness to all ages to empower, build healthy communities, and create authentic creative experiences. Cassandra is also the Artistic Director of the Brave and Barefoot Dance Troupe, centered on honoring the feminine and the intersection of modern and ancient dance technique. For the past six years, she has trained in small group dynamics and processes and develops programming for workplaces of all sizes, private studios, community centers, and schools. Cassandra is based in Chicago, IL. Follow Cassandra @bravedance, on Instagram at braveandbarefoot or at www.braveandbarefoot.org