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Q&A: Workshops don’t “do it” for me.

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“I have tried some workshops. They don’t really work for me. Reason being there is too much being thrown at me in a short space of time. Now, I am not young, not old, but this older brain needs to have the lessons pounded over and over.”

You are not by any stretch meant to absorb everything in a workshop, and what you do absorb, you should not expect to get into your muscle memory or master at any level.

It is like a big delicious buffet. You are overwhelmed with choices, and will taste a lot of things you maybe never tried before. You will like some things, and not others, and you never walk away with a recipe list of the things you like. Just a rough idea of what foods, ingredients, and spices you enjoyed most. Then you can take that information home and apply it to your overall diet in some other way, by experimenting with the bits and pieces of culinary details you gathered from your experience.

If you go in hoping to walk out with a complete set of ideas and concepts, wholly in your body and ready to go, you will be disappointed every time. But employing patience with yourself, looking out for what really resonates with you, taking some decent notes, and being willing to let go of what isn’t really turning your crank, you can come away with some really valuable new information and a gateway to new skills and ideas that will generate within you as a result of attending.

And remember that workshop teachers vary widely, and their topics do as well. Some workshops are about cramming as much data into one two hour time-slot as possible. Others are about more subtle techniques that you will get to drill with over and over in different ways to explore possibilities. You end up kissing frogs in the process, but even the ones you don’t appreciate fully give you some scope to your preferences, and helps guide your personal style.

So even if a workshop seems like it will be a difficult stretch, try it!  See a workshop with a great teacher but with basic techniques you think you have already “mastered”? Take it–it will invariably give you new insights and considerations to help you grow.  See a workshop in a style you’re not sure you want to do? Try it anyway. Even if you don’t make a shift to that school of movement, details of the work might inform your style in a new way you never expected.  Workshops are a smorgasbord of possibilities. So FEAST and fill that creative tummy with new fabulous inspirations!

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Shay Moore is the director and primary instructor at Deep Roots Dance in Seattle, WA. She loves writing, movies, costuming, knitting, cooking, and bellydance to the moon and back again; and loves her amazing husband and doggies even more than that.

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