Unpacking ‘Flow’ in Freestyle Dance
If there is anything as blissful as the state of ‘flow’ in dance. This is when you succumb to the music, the elements around you, and put your trust in your bodily senses to guide you through movement.
This is something I’ve struggled with for the most of my dance journey. Whether its doubting my body, being overly conscious of others, letting my mind be stuck in the ‘next moment’.
‘Flow’ is still a rare state in my journey, but I reach it faster and with more ease every session.
Here are some prerequisites/tips to reach ‘flow’:
Consolidate your movement repertoire. Whether you specialise, or pull references from a variety of styles, embed those moves and pathways within your body i.e practice and train your little heart out
Accomodate your practice with music matching your innate rhythm. You’ll know when you know — it hits a spot.
What is your ‘golden hour’? When are you at your optimal level of inner peace? Like many, I love sunset. For me it is a daily congratulatory ceremony of the day, and an opportunity to thank myself for getting through it. The combination of gratitude and satisfaction gives my mind permission to rest, or ‘stand aside’ for a while.
It may also help to set your training space up in a comfortable environments. Think about your company — Do you prefer to ride the collective energy of a large group? Does the presence of a tight-knit circle of kind, loving and supportive friends motivate you? Or are you happy in solitude?* (Even though at battles/events you’re surrounded by people; getting into your ‘flow’ in a solitary space will strengthen your flow muscle, and help you build trust within your own abilities).
Flow is effortless, natural and should not be forced. If you feel your body or thoughts resisting, try to let go of the resistance by focusing on something else — Maybe notice how the ground reverberates back into your feet, how the air pushes back against your limbs, or your own breathing.