Michael's Story & The Creation of Flow
Feeling is what keeps us alive. Feeling is what keeps us sane. Our bodies tell us what does and does not feel good. I’ve learned it is becoming more difficult for people to feel these days with all these mental stimulations. I’ve learned that people who feel, are truer to themselves and who they are. I’ve learned that people who feel good are happier than those who don’t feel good. Interacting with others physically and doing it to music, makes you feel really good. Flow is a physical language, designed to discover movement that feels good, connecting to music that feels good, communicating with a partner, and feeling good. Dancing is the feel-good activity, more than any other activity.
When I was twenty-five years of age, I realized the strongest asset humans have is in our ability to communicate. Within communication, we can explain and listen to exactly what we want, and then work together to make all our dreams come true. Communication and understanding are essential in building a world that feels good. I used to pride myself in thinking out loud and expressing myself verbally, the moment I felt it. When I came across dancing, I fell immediately in love with the activity and the idea of expressing myself physically, the moment I felt it. I had never experienced an activity that has the many positive benefits that partner dancing provides, socially and personally. However, no one in my world really knew how to dance, nor had the interest or resources to learn how. So I found myself in both a dance and a non-dance world. It was important to me to make dancing relevant to my entire world, so I could properly express myself and essentially be myself with everyone whom I interact with. That's when I concluded that if I'm going to give everyone around me the opportunity to feel how valuable dance is, they need to feel it from the very beginning. So, I began teaching dance in terms of a " physical language". If you feel it, you can learn it from day one. You then develop the ability to communicate with anyone through touch and apply it to all music, making dance relevant and attainable for all people.
My first initiative was to formulate theories, empowering me to dance and teach any dance pattern, without having to be taught it first. When I finally uncovered the secrets to make this possible, I felt like I discovered a special power. From there I realized that if I can teach and help people understand these secrets, then they too can problem-solve how to dance anything with anyone. So, I researched and developed lead/follow theories into tangible principles, which I call the “Body to Body” relationship.
However, it takes time for people to understand and apply these principles, so I had to work backwards from there. In moving ahead, I broke down all dance patterns into basic, healthy movements, known as Flow’s root patterns. Under the “Core to Floor” relationship we learn the root patterns and train within healthy, movement principles.
Next, I developed principles in how to connect people to all music, as it is much more inspiring to move to music - labeling these the “Mind on Music” principles. Consequently, I’ve been working on a "mad science" project for 7 years, in making partner dance a tangible language that everyone can learn and thrive with.
Dancing with another person creates feelings - like carnival ride feelings, but to music and with another person. Way more fun and creative than carnival ride feelings. The current difficulty in inspiring people to learn dance is the patience it takes to cultivate these feelings when you first start dancing. So, the key is to commit to it until you are a fluid dancer.
I can feel what flow can turn into. I can see what flow can turn into. Students are starting to see and feel what flow can turn into.
Flow’s approach is to make you feel the power of dancing from day 1. Once you feel and understand how to interact with others physically, you can apply it to the music and/or scenario of your choosing. This is how people can explore themselves when they dance, and not fit someone else’s mold or style. This is how people are going to learn to create their own killer dance moves to lead and follow. This is how we are going to get the whole world dancing.
I love all different dance styles, but I also love creating original content within these styles. Flow empowers you to create new content and feelings within your dancing, as you keep the flow of the dance - a pure physical language.
The patterns and partner positions are like Lego blocks; the more blocks you have the more combinations you can make, and the more expressive you can be. The more we learn through this method, the more we can create dance interactions that have yet to be created and this is going to be the leading catalyst in our evolution of partner dance.
The atmosphere I strive for in the studio is one in which all students have the ability to use the studio, instructors, and other students to build and achieve personal and social goals, through dancing - where students can work together within and outside the studio to improve and enjoy their dancing - where students can work off the same material and work together to either hone current styles of dance and/or build their own styles of dance.
Flow Studio’s is now thriving as a studio with intentions for so much more.
Here are a few, of many, goals that Flow has set out to achieve.
- Develop an online curriculum that includes text, diagrams, and videos, making Flow and partner dancing tangible for all the world.
- Flow becomes so effective, it becomes a subject in Universities or high schools and is taught as a physical education course. It takes a couple years of weekly learning and practice to really become fluent in Flow.
- Create dance playgrounds that can include objects for people to dance with and around.
I know Flow’s concept and dance structure will evolve partner dancing and make it available and exciting for everyone, and now we are working to teach the world the positivity Flow can have on everyday interactions – and this starts with SEATTLE!!
The success of Flow hinges upon the inspired and talented Seattleites whom yearn to explore, and it is my number one goal to make them the best possible dancers this earth has ever experienced.