Rolfer, Dancer, Teacher

Week 5 of assisting my first Rolfing® training is in the books. I’m feeling my stride with the teaching, learning a lot, and finally finding some serious time to go out dancing. It seems like we’re both gathering momentum towards the end and at the same time feeling like I’m short on time to do all the enjoying of Boulder that I want to.

Day 29 – September 12

Today was the first day that Ray McCall joined the class to assess Neal as an instructor. Having watched Lael be assessed in Brazil and now Neal, it’s interesting to see the first jitters play out with people far more experienced than myself. Neal handled it well, but was clearly wound rather tight the first half of today and going into his session 6 with his client. In the afternoon he settled out and it was a pleasure having Ray in class.

uc516_day_29_kakes_studioAt the end of the day, Ray came up to me and asked who I did my movement training with. When I responded that it was predominantly Monica Caspari and Lael Keen and asked why, he said it showed in how I approached students and gave feedback and that I clearly moved from my center and expressed out through my limbs. I took that validation and compliment gladly then went out to Kakes studio for the Monday night classes and dance with Boulder Swing Dance.

Day 30 – September 13

uc516_day_30_poptart_therapyTuesday was session 8 with my 10-series client. Ray was not observing this day so I got to head into the integration sessions of the series without the extra observation. After some hemming and hawing and discussing, I ended up going with client’s desire to try radial decompression for the 8/9 part of her series. It felt like a little bit of a risk since traditionally it’s an upper and lower session, but the session ended up being helpful to have demo’d for the students, several of whom had been nudged to do radial decompression sessions in their Unit 2 despite never having seen a RD session.

The session went well but I think the extra charge around trying to determine the “right” session type to do was showing a bit in the general class energy as we moved towards the afternoon. One of the students decided to go out and get Pop-tarts which she hadn’t had in, I think she said 6+ years. So toasted pop-tart therapy was the order of the evening and towards the end of the day we got to have some good conversations around long-term challenges with the work and such.

Day 31 – September 14

uc516_day_31_irish_snugSession 7 for the Monday/Wednesday clients today. There’s nothing quite like watching a room of Rolfers pulling on gloves and putting fingers in mouths and up noses. It seemed to be a pretty significant session for Neal’s and several other clients and was a particularly interesting day to sit with and hold space for.

Feeling a little worn down I headed down to Denver after class for Balboa practice where I got to evoke some interesting imagery to help a few dancer friends with body mechanics and flow. Then went over to The Irish Snug for a few beers and dancing to Gypsy Swing Revue.

Day 32 – September 15

uc516_day_32_merc_stairsLast day of classes for the week and this time I was doing my client’s session 9 with Ray observing in addition to the class. Given that a new person would change the dynamic of the room a bit, I made sure to introduce my client to Ray outside before anything got going; all the same it was interesting watching how the extra observer affected both mine and my client’s nerves a bit. Fortunately, she and I have been building a nice sort of teamwork effort all along the way and we could lean on that a bit to keep her session moving in awesome directions (including a nice ‘wink wink’ type, “you’re doing such a great job today” comment from my client). I asked Ray for feedback afterwards and he said it was a great advanced type session but maybe to find ways to pull it back a bit if I’m going to teach further. I expect if I continue to teach that that sort of balancing act between client needs and abilities and student needs and abilities will be a long-term project.

Following class I picked up a dancer friend from Boulder and we headed down to Denver for a Harvest Moon Ball dance at The Mercury Cafe. I both love the Merc and at the same time still find myself a little intimidated dancing there. Nine years ago the Merc was the first place I’d spent more than a few days dancing outside of my home scene and the level of skill combined with the level of play there made me feel like I had no idea how to dance. I don’t run into that as much anymore, but I was reminded of that feeling and the challenges of trying to find my groove 2000 miles away from home. All in all though it was a lovely evening and I got to meet some great folks who I had never danced with before.

Day 33 – September 16

uc516_day_33_royal_archOn the advice of some dancer friends, I got up semi-early on Friday and headed out to hike up to Royal Arch. I’d been warned that it gets pretty crowded on weekends and had heard the phrase “nobody works on Friday in Boulder” the night before at the Merc so I had a little trepidation when I didn’t make it out onto the trail until past 10am. All the same, several hours, some beautiful views, and a lot of sweat later, I made it up to the Arch and a gorgeous view of Boulder below. Along the way I had some great conversations and meetings with fellow hikers including several sets of folks from North Carolina. It was another reminder of how much happier and more sociable I’ve been getting since selling my house 4 months ago.

I made it off the trail sometime around 2 and headed over to check out J&L Distilling, a place I’d heard Ray recommending to Neal in passing. What I had expected to be maybe 30 minutes to an hour of exploration turned into over 3 hours of hanging out when Jon Martine, his wife, and a friend just happened to show up and sit down next to me. Jon had taught the Anatomy lead-in week to our class the week I had been absent and will be teaching a stand-alone day next week. I had a great time hanging out and chatting with them and being introduced to some off-menu cocktail options like the Atomic Beet Down.

Day 34 – September 17

Friday night for unclear reasons turned into a night of extremely little sleep. I had intended on getting up early to hike part of Mt. Sanitas again but woke up feeling like that would be a bad idea. Instead, knowing I had two birthday parties to go to that afternoon, I spent most of the morning fitfully trying to nap and watching Netflix when that failed.

uc516_day_34_cakeThe first party, and source of today’s photo, was for my nephew who was turning 1. It was a struggle getting over there and settling in at first but once I got to talking with family for a bit it turned out to be a really lovely time. This trip has been fairly short on family time due to the constraints of not having a car at first and lots of energy just going into learning my role in the classroom so it was nice to have most of the nearby family gathered to hang out and catch up for a bit. The birthday boy was clearly enamored with the cake and I ended up staying a lot longer than expected with the evening’s finale being taking both my niece and nephew for a bunny spotting walk around the neighborhood.

From there, I briefly dropped by home to pick up my dance shoes and change then went to meet a party of dancers at License No. 1 beneath the Boulderado hotel for a joint dancer birthday celebration. A band I hadn’t heard before called Banshee Tree was playing and they were mostly fast and consistently great. There were a LOT of drunks to dodge in a very small dance space for a while but around 11:30 on their final set it started to clear down a bit and I got a really nice set of dances in with a local dancer who I’d never met before doing half-time Lindy in order to keep going to the last of the super fast songs.

Day 35 – September 18

uc516_day_35_flatirons_hikeSunday saw another hike, this time up the Flatirons trails, not too far from but significantly easier than the Royal Arch hike I had done on Friday. It was again wonderful just being out in nature, being sociable, and also getting to spend a bit of non-dance time with the dancers I’m getting to know or connect with again and who I’ll have to say goodbye to all too soon.

A few hours hiking was followed by a delicious lunch at Zoe Ma Ma and then I went home and basically crashed for about 12 hours sleep catching up from Friday night and recharging for the week ahead.

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