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 getting harder for people to feel these days with all the brain stimulation. 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. Interacting with others physically and doing it to music, makes you feel really good. Flow is designed to discover movement that feels good, connecting to music that feels good, dancing 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 that the strongest asset humans have is our ability to communicate. In communicating with others, we can explain and listen to exactly what we want, and then work together to make 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, expressing myself verbally as soon as 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 drive 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 with whom I interact. 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. That's when I began teaching dance in terms of a " kinesthetic 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 it relevant and possible for all people.
My first initiative was to formulate theories that would allow me to lead and follow as well as teach, any patterns, 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 understand how to lead and follow anything with anyone. So, I researched and developed lead and follow principles into tangible theories, which I call the “Body to Body” theories. But it takes time for people to understand and apply these theories, so I decided to work backwards from there. In moving ahead, I broke down all the dance patterns into basic, healthy movements, which we call root patterns, and train with healthy movement theories, called “Core to Floor.” Next, I developed theories on how to connect people to all music, because it is much more inspiring to move to music, calling these the “Mind on Music” theories. Consequently, I’ve been working on a "mad science" project for 6 years, on how to make partner dance a tangible language that everyone can learn and enjoy.
Dancing with another person creates feelings that you have not yet felt and you probably don’t know exist. 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 the first day. Once you feel and understand how to interact with others kinesthetically, you can apply it to the music or the dance genres of your choosing. This is how people can be 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 dance moves to lead and follow. This is how we are going to get the whole world dancing.
I love all different dances, but I also love creating original content within those dances. Flow is designed to empower you to create new dance moves within the dance you are dancing, and to maintain the flow of that dance - a pure lead & follow.
The patterns and partner positions are like Lego blocks; the more blocks you have the more combinations you can make, and the more cool moves you can create. The more we learn through this method, the more we can start creating dance moves that have yet to be created and this is going to be the leading catalyst in the 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 they 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’s three immediate plans are:
- To make the studio sustainable by educating the public and showing Seattle what it can mean and feel to dance.
- Work with a dance and teaching partner to become fluent in Flow and visually show everyone what Flow can be.
- Develop an online curriculum that includes text, diagrams, and videos, making Flow and partner dancing tangible for all the world.
My two later goals are:
- 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 can evolve partner dancing and make it available and exciting for everyone, and now I want to teach the world the effects Flow can have on everyday interactions – and this starts with SEATTLE!!
The success of Flow hinges upon the inspired and talented Seattleites whom I yearn to train. It is my number one goal to make them the best possible dancers this earth has ever experienced.