Brenda Gave me Space for Myself

Written by Horacio, co-organizer for FLOW

As I mentioned in my previous post, I first had the opportunity to train with Anderson and Brenda in July of 2019. In that retreat, we danced with one of the pros in attendance at the beginning and then again at the end, in order to establish a baseline and then assess progress.

My pro partner was Brenda. I’d seen videos of her dance, of course, but I’d barely met her, let alone danced with her, so I was feeling a bit nervous. Despite my jitters, she was exceptionally easy to dance with–very light and with an ability to follow with such precision that each of my mistakes and hesitations became very noticeable to me.

The accuracy of the dance provided me with feedback that needed no words to convey: I was hesitating. l was taking too long to move out of and into certain transitions; each millisecond felt like an eternity.

In my last dance at the very end of the retreat, I danced again with Brenda. During the course of the retreat Brenda had shown us how she connects with herself physically, mentally and emotionally to prepare herself to dance fully with another person. The preparation required takes a lot of courage. I say this because–in my experience dancing with her–I found that she trusts in her partner fully. I have almost never felt this degree of trust before.

In that last dance she knew that I had to summon courage in order to release hesitation, and she offered me an exceptionally generous gift: she told me that she was going to trust that I would be there for her in the dance, the way that Anderson is. She didn’t say anything else, just closed her eyes. We started dancing and right away I felt it, I felt that she was willing to tilt as far as I asked, to return the energy and even the awkwardness that I gave and I got it! She was really trusting in me, putting herself on the line, and in response my being immediately reacted and became response-able, supportive, certain. I did not do anything, it was done in me.

My subconscious responded to the gift of trust that Brenda gave to me. It was a healing gift, probably the biggest gift that a follow can give to a lead on the dance floor. In response, I realized that the biggest gift that I can give to a follow is to be supportive, 100% present, totally focussed on my partner; not preoccupied by the movement or the music (which is difficult for me as a dj), but focused only on the person in front of me, trusting, accepting me.

It isn’t an exaggeration to say that my experience dancing with Brenda was transcendental. At the end I had no words and my eyes were tearing up. Her gift was enormous and impactful beyond the dance floor.

Brenda is truly an outstanding human being and I feel excited for those of you that will have the chance to meet her, to be inspired by her, and to be touched by her way of being while she and Anderson visit us for the first time in Canada at FLOW 2019 on November 8-11 in Edmonton.