“I want to be dancing with you when I am an old lady”. That is what Lynn Simonson, creator of a technique that allows any body to dance regardless of age, injury or expertise, use to tell us when we gathered for her classes in the studio she built with four other young ‘dreamers’ on Broadway right above Houston in the eighties. Today that dream has manifested into the mega movement complex called DNA (Dance New Amsterdam) on Chambers Street.
I am headed there today to attend a Simonson class. As always the class will be eclectic with professional dancers attending alongside a range of ages and body types—usually including a grandmother or two! Everyone sweats as we work each muscle, bone, tendon and joint in our own way grounded with Lynn’s lifetime of movement awareness and experience. This was the fuel that drove me to study Chinese Medicine, the training that was cultivated with the practice of qigong which led me to study acupuncture. As my first qigong teacher told our fledgling class of 24 students, dance was an early form of medicine in China. When the rains would come and stay, people danced to rid themselves of the dampness which collected in their joints. I am convinced that dance, when done with intelligence, focus and respect for our individual needs, can heal. For a class schedule of Simonson classes go to www.dnadance.org.
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