Body and Mind… a conflict or a reconciliation?
A few weeks ago, fellow dancer Megan Hartmann came to stay with us for an undetermined amount of time to study, dance, relax, and gain perspective… but because I can’t make my brain stop, I’ve been thinking quite a lot about my place as a dancer vs. my place as a thinker in the belly dance world and in my own head.
I think I have figured something out, and of course I reserve the right to alter my conclusion at any time. At the end of the day, I am an amateur philosopher. I spend more time in my head than I do in my body. I am a dancer, but without my musings on expression, art, and integrity, my dance is nothing. Dance is a vehicle for my ideas, a means to express my ideals and my internal self. My body is a vessel for my contemplations.
My roommates, however, are much more connected, I think, to their bodies as BODIES, as physical beings. When the three of us were talking about what we’d like done with our bodies after we have passed away (a morbid and yet fascinating conversation), they said that they’d like to be buried, particularly my dance partner Natalie Brown. I’d rather be cremated. I’d rather return to the spiritual world, whereas they would rather continue to inhabit their bodies even after death.
Megan and Natalie often wake up and want to dance. I wake up and want to think… and I’ve been thinking about my place as a dancer, as a physical being with a brain that won’t stop. When I see my roommates just dance and enjoy the act of dancing without analytical thought… and I wonder, “how can I get there?” And should I get there as a dancer? Or are my reasons for dancing just different, and should I just embrace my motives as they are and build on them?
I love the feeling of being lost in dance, but it is a rare moment when my frontal lobe takes the back seat and just lets my body do a majority of the work.
Is this a good thing or a bad thing, or is it just a thing? Does this make me any less of a dancer? And what does that mean that I would rather embody my thoughts than my physical self? Does this harm my position as a performer, does it enhance it, or does it just make me different?
I’ve known for a while that my personality type is rare, especially for women. In the Myers-Briggs lexicon, I am an INTP: The Architect. The very first line describing my type on this website says:
As an INTP, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you deal with things rationally and logically. Your secondary mode is external, where you take things in primarily via your intuition.
The second line?
INTPs live in the world of theoretical possibilities.
If you read the rest of the article, you’ll see where this conflict between my body and mind arises.
But is it a conflict at all… Maybe as a dancer, I am meant to inhabit my head and my ideas, whereas my roommates are meant to inhabit their bodies more. What does that mean? Maybe that’s a post for another day.