Deep Shape: Dance as Organizing

(Fourth in a series on the four movement patterns: Thrust, Hang, Swing, Shape.)

Take a deep breath and let it out with a sigh.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Meet Karin Frank, a 2011 next gen leader, a truly complex shaper!


Angeles Arrien, anthropologist, celebrates five shapes in her book, Signs of Life: Square. Circle, Triangle. Cross. Spiral. She suggests the relationship of each to process and change.

“The circle stands for wholeness and can be found in the Native American medicine wheel and Hawaiian Menehune rings. The cross symbolizes the process of relationship and integration. The spiral points to growth and evolution. It can be found in the spinning and weaving stories from all cultures. The square stands for stability, solidity, and security. It appeals to those who yearn for consistency. The triangle points to issues of self-discovery and revelation; it reveals an interest in goals, visions, and dreams.

On the other hand, our body is a conglomeration of beautiful, wild shapes. The center of every crazy shape invites balance, even if we can’t hold it for long.

Shape Meditation:


With one arm make a shape.
Make a series of shapes.
In a shape, notice space and stillness.
Shift shapes using quick moves, faster than the speed of the mind.
Stretch into shapes with muscle and breath.
Make grotesque shapes.
Shape to evoke sacred connection.

Dance with shape to meditate on organizing as an organism. If you have a partner move in shapes, complementary or not.


Each body  is diversely organized and also coherent. Unity does not require ONE SHAPE! We do not have to Shape up or Ship out.  Unity requires interplaying with complex shapes and communal practices where people might Sit, Stand, Lie down, Dance.

Will today be a MONO MOVEMENT day? Or will numerous shapes emerge? Will your mind approve what your body craves?

Dance on behalf of all who are not yet free to move in easy complexity.


One Response to Deep Shape: Dance as Organizing

  1. trish watts says:

    Got the flu today…so appreciated being fed!

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