Next Generation of Trainers

Sounds of "WAVE"

By Vickie Saito on June 6, 2011

I learned so much from creating a new routine! This has been an amazing experience for me and I feel so proud that I accomplished this body of work. I am grateful for Carlos’ original work, Sexi, from which mine evolved. It is truly a relationship that grew over the last nine months. I really felt pregnant with anticipation and wonder at how this new baby would be birthed. The filming process felt like a true celebration!

The first months were frustrating because I did not realize how much I relied on Debbie and Carlos’ music for my classes. It felt like I had to relearn where to go to find music that inspired me. I loved the first months of just freedancing with music that moved me. I had a blast choosing popular music at first to bring to my teens, and then quickly realized my nervous system could not handle that genre anymore. So I brought in many more variations until I found the songs that clicked with the original choreography and felt good, over time, to my nervous system as well.

I barred the music early on and the choreography just got tighter and tighter with each time I taught it in class. The layers are amazing. Bringing in a few songs to blend with existing choreography is one thing, but to artistically build a routine from focus/intent, song to song, transubstantiation, to making sure I bring in the original kata, maintaining the focus, to playing with as many 52 moves as I could, was an awesome feat. At times, I got tired of the music I chose, so I would work on my 52 moves routine more. It felt like a great balance in the educational schema of the whole year.

Form and freedom allowed me to move away from the original focus and try on many different foci for this body of work. Because of the emotional songs I chose, and because it was pertinent in my healing from the loss of my mom, I feel that the “sexi”ness of the routine was removed and replaced with authenticity. The focus of the spinal cord and three body weights from the original routine remained as the physical thread and yet beautifully supported the emotional body and sensations being uncovered, felt and released. I was drawn to teach from the emotional realm, but quickly realized how limited my language was in this area. So, I’ve witnessed my learning accelerate here.

Although I remained true to the original choreography, I felt that certain conditioning benefits were limited in the original routine. So, I added arm blocks, freedance section, and attention to more details with the spine. What has stuck for me is working with isolation and integration of the body weights. Isolating moves a lot of energy in one area, stimulates sensation and then integration moves it through. This way of moving the energy through the core has taught my students and me the power of sustainability, endurance, direction of energy and the tremendous feeling of integration and systemic freedom.

The White Belt Principles show up in my focus where I discuss the Joy of Movement and Core of the Body - moving from isolation to integration including the spinal cord. Listen to the music/Dance to the music is phrase I used many times in this routine. Awareness is embodied as we step in and carried throughout the whole routine. I introduce Natural Time while introducing my focus and again during floorplay as we move from floor to standing several times. I relate and speak to the movement forms throughout several songs. Since the original routine did not include Freedance, I chose to add a section of Freedance to stimulate movement creativity in the emotional realm. In cycle 7, I invite everyone to Dance Through Life appreciating the little things and opening to the wave of emotion that surfs through us in stillness or in dance. Knowing that isolation and integration prepares the nervous system for balance, and it is from this balanced place we step forward into our greatness. All stances are detailed in my opening song. Playing with conditioning by exploring planes and levels is something I invite in at the beginning of “Get Moving” and remind again later. Upper Extremities are explored via hand techniques including palm directions, creepy crawlers, a cue to relax shoulder blades onto the back, and allowing chest isolations to affect arm movement.

All in all, I have new appreciation for the many hours that Debbie and Carlos have dedicated to choosing the right combination of music and choreography to create a body of work that is educational, inspiring and fun.  By simply embarking on this project alone, it has enhanced my relationship with all 13 White Belt Principles tremendously.