Kathryn Sparks: What is Dance?






When I dance I am most who I am, before myself, before my friends and relatives, and before God. I am the most Kathryn Sparks that I could possibly be. And this occurs when I dance from my heart. I have a sense when I am dancing from my heart and when I am simply doing movement. Moving is not dancing. Dancing is something divine I think. When I dance I experience the present moment in its purest form. Rarely do we as humans truly experience the present moment. Praying is the closest thing to dancing that I know. I would say that when I truly pray, I experience a similar sensation of the present moment, of being connected to Life, to God, rooted in who I am, empowered by my sense of self where God’s Spirit lives. And I think that ultimately, when I am truly praying, truly in relationship with God, then what I am actually doing is that I am listening. My mind has stopped its mile a minute thinking or its mile a minute asking God for things, or its mile a minute listing the people I know who need God’s help (which is a good thing for me to list but it’s different from listening to God). Listening when I pray doesn’t happen as often as I’d like, the mind completely present and yet completely halted of diversion so that God may speak. It does happen though, so I know that it exists. As I know that I dance. People say that I look aglow when I dance. I only know what my body knows, so I only have what people tell me to go on about whether my dancing touches them. And that, like choreography, is the ultimate goal. To touch people: to communicate something to people, to communicate God’s love, God’s grace. When I dance I live and breathe God’s love, God’s grace. Choreography is sort of proclamation or testimony. Perhaps dance is that: a proclamation. I must know the steps that someone has directed me to do or that I have created for myself to do them well enough to free myself to actually dance. Dancing is being entirely caught up in the moment.

Kathryn Sparks studied dance at Connecticut College and American University and recently completed her masters degree at Wesley Theological Seminary, where she is currently adjunct professor of dance and theology.

Bourgeon’s mission, through our online publication and community initiatives, is twofold: to increase participation in the arts and to improve access to the arts. Bourgeon is a project of the not-for-profit Day Eight.
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