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A collection of thoughts from our members


I’ve always been a hard-headed biology student. I love science. I love structure. To me, that’s safe because science is methodological, calculative, and expected. There’s always a hypothesis, experiment, and results...predictable. And that’s why my first step into a dance cypher led to an unexpected feeling of fear. Never had I ever felt nervous or embarrassed in front of others. In fact, organized public speaking and teaching are my strong suit. But a dance cypher is a complete 180. A cypher is meant to be a safe space for dancers to freestyle in front of their peers. It is a region where dancers listen to music speak and use their bodies to translate. Even with ear plugs, the onlookers should be able to sense the mood of each musical phrase by reading the dancers. However to me, I felt exposed and naked in the middle of my first cypher. There is such a strong difference between the comfortable feeling of hardwired science and the unrehearsed freestyling of art. And I wasn’t accustomed to the latter. But overcoming the barrier of fear and of being judged was the most challenging step to take for me. Beyond that, it’s easy because letting go is fluid. Beyond this step is where I find the empty spaces that I can explore and color in with my own imagination and creativity. Yes, I feel naked in the center of the cypher but it doesn’t bother me anymore. It feels good to be raw. It took one hesitant step to begin. And after that, a million steps follow.

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