Poetry Like You’ve Never Seen: Poetry in Motion – The Undulating Line

A New Form of Poetry

                As I sat at an open mic poetry, soaking in the delightful poems being presented, there was one poet that stood out to me that particular evening. A woman named Shannon went up on stage and courageously stepped outside of the norm to perform her poem while simultaneously bellydancing. It’s not a combination that I would’ve ever considered go together, but it was quite magical and intriguing. I immediately wanted to know more.

                As if she read my thoughts, after she finished, she mentioned her Poetry in Motion workshop that she was a part of, and there was an upcoming event in the month of April. I could not resist the opportunity to see more and explore this blending of art forms.

A Warm Environment

                I had no idea what to expect when going in, but I entered, fully prepared to feel completely incompetent and inadequate. What I found was two inviting teachers, Aruni and Shannon, who immediately put my mind to rest that I did not need to be skilled in any way. Don’t get me wrong, I was still very bad at dancing, but I was able to not worry so much about that. They made it incredibly easy to simply enjoy watching them share their knowledge and there was no judgement on my humble attempts at following their direction.

Bellydancing – Aruni

                Aruni led the bellydancing portion of the class, and elegantly demonstrated each move. Aruni is a poet and she has over 20 years of experience in bellydancing. The amount of grace she has in her movements is astounding. You could see her heart has poured into this style and it is truly a wonder to watch. I almost forgot at times that I was trying to learn the moves as I was captured by examining the skill that clearly took hours upon hours to perfect.

                What I liked about her teaching was that she focused on individuality. She said that we don’t need to dance like other people, rather we should dance from our own hearts. She encouraged us to feel the music and express it the way that we perceive it. Finding my own perception was rather difficult for me, as none of the movements felt natural to my non-rhythmic body. However, I do think my awkward turtle dance is probably still a somewhat accurate reflection of how I see the world.

                The concept behind bellydancing was quite empowering. Aruni said that it is a way to get out of your head and into your hips. It is not for some sort of gawking eyes to watch, but to be sensual for yourself. Bellydancing is primarily a dance that women do together, not so much as a way to entice men. It’s about embracing your body as your own, feeling free, throwing away body shaming thoughts, and enjoying your own curves. I found this to be strangely soothing, like a unique form of self-care.

Poetry – Shannon

                The second half of the workshop was taught by Shannon, a publisher and poet. Middle Eastern style music and dance is not in her heritage, but it feeds her soul. She is so excited about her work and such an encouraging person to be around. I love the way she is all about building up poets and eagerly wants to display their work. She diligently stays connected with all of the poetry outlets to be able to direct her authors where to place submissions.

Shannon directed us through poetry exercises, relating to the dance and movement. The idea was to get out of our heads through dancing, and then back into our heads with a rejuvenated perspective. There was a refreshing peace to be able to transition this way, and it did give a little bit of a clear mind to work with when writing.  

Book in the Making

                In addition to teaching, these creative individuals are putting together a book wherein they collect poems that are created in the class! They are collaborating the uniqueness of their talents to design something new and fresh in the poetry world.

Inspiration

                I was so impressed by the work that these individuals are doing. It was so clear that they do this not because of money, but for the love of the art. They lose themselves in the creative process while at the same time diligently work to make their concepts a reality. In a chaotic world of day jobs, bills, and families, they are still making art and passion a priority in their lives.

                They have more workshops coming up! Go check them out and share them with your friends!

                You can find them by clicking on the links below:

                Picture Show Press

                Poetry in Motion: Bellydance and Poetry Workshop

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Dancing To Far Away Places with Katie O’Loughlin

SUPPORT KATIE O’LOUGHLIN!

 

 

HOW RARE AND BEAUTIFUL

“How rare and beautiful it truly is that we exist.”

This line in the song Saturn by Sleeping At Last could not be more fitting for Katie O’Loughlin as she gracefully expresses herself through dance. If you’re thinking her face looks familiar, you are not crazy! She was one of the other dancers with Boogie Willis in the collaboration piece from my last article.

Now, I must warn you, no words will truly do justice for how amazing this person is, but I must attempt to explain a piece of what makes her so remarkable. Am I biased? Probably, but I’m sure by the end of reading this, you will be too.

 

YOU ARE NOT WATCHING A MERE DANCE ROUTINE

Katie lives and breathes dance. She started as a young child and hasn’t stopped dancing since. Boldly she flies across the dance floor with purpose in every step. She is out there changing the world one leap at a time.

With each piece you can see the genuine love of the craft by the way she moves. She somehow manages to take herself out of the equation, even if she is the only person dancing, and pulls her viewers into the story that she is telling. Watching her, you can’t help but respect how bravely vulnerable she makes herself. You are not watching a mere dance routine, you are looking at a piece of her soul.

 

GROWING HERSELF AND BUILDING OTHERS

Katie does not reserve her love for only dance alone. She extends her creativity into every aspect of the arts. From lighting, to photography, to set design, she is well versed in it all. Diligently she worked to gain knowledge in the whole production.  She has been a part of so many creative performances, workshops, mission works, etc. that I couldn’t even begin to count the hours she has given to her community. Seriously, I dare you to keep track!

Her courageous spirit pushes her to challenge herself and pursue her dreams of travelling. Recently she traveled to Cuba for the second time where she gathered inspiration and learned from the different culture. She soaked up all that she could while she was there and brought it back with her to be able to share with others.

Throughout her journey, she never forgets to stop and empower every person around her. Whether it be her students, her peers, or her family, she speaks words of encouragement to enrich their lives. She leads by example on how to be humble and kind while simultaneously growing personal confidence. She aims to use her skills and her work to unite people in love.

 

THE CALLING OF HER HEART

There are times that she struggles to know her path, and questions if she is going in the right direction. Pursuing a life in arts and service is not always the most compatible for a stable life and let’s face it, it can be extremely daunting. But Katie pays very close attention to the calling on her heart and does not shy away from listening to it, even if the outcome is not clear. She combines hard work with faith and allows life to play out the rest.

 

HOW TO SUPPORT KATIE

If you were wondering how you can support this fiery woman, I have the answer for you! Her next adventure will be off to Kenya where she will be meeting the child that she sponsors through her church. While she is normally only able to show her love monetarily, this time she will be able to give the greatest gift of all, the gift of time.

It is difficult for someone who is so generous to call in favors or ask for anything for herself, so already she is stepping outside her comfort zone. But the beautiful thing is that she isn’t asking for herself alone, rather she is asking for help to give to others. Should it be on your heart to support her, please follow this link to her fundraiser page:

SUPPORT KATIE O’LOUGHLIN!

Katie O’Loughlin creates her own flare of fire and beauty. She is an adventurer, a leader, and treasure of a person to be around. She embraces her life and truly makes the most of her existence.