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Rediscovering Sensuality, Community, and Self through Dance

It is my first Touch&Play (March 2022). A jam. A desire to dance on my own. It has been at least four years since I have stepped into a jam space, or even a collective movement space. I am with myself but not alone, the presence of all that surrounds me and the community supports me. The movement goes deeper. My body is unlocking itself, I touch deep pain and allow the waters to flow and flow. This is the deep cry I had been needing for quite some time.

Contact Improvisation was a central practice in my life, where I found nourishment, play, community, inspiration, and so much more, until it simply felt unsafe to my emotional and nervous system. After years of dancing, I realised that my first years of dancing had their fair share of non-consensual boundary crossings, both by myself and others. Throughout different stages of my experience, I found myself holding anxiety over situations where “nothing had happened” but so much had occurred, as it does in those moments when I had opened myself to be moved and move through deep intimacy. Or when relational messiness had unfolded and we had no common tools to navigate the shared community space -JAM- afterwards.

I kept dancing, and in a way, I tried to tame myself, to learn to dance from the physical, to stay solely in the present of the dance floor.

I heard phrases like: “of course emotions come up, but we are not here to process them” or the famous “we are dancing physics and not chemistry” and so on.

The truth is that all the unspoken and inevitable emotions and chemistry that were concealed in the shadows, tucked underneath the jam floors became too overwhelming for me to navigate.

Other factors had kept me off the dance floor, such as a complicated pregnancy, the collapse of the illusion of family, becoming a full-time single mom, health complications with my child… Oh and of course, there was a Pandemic going on. So, whatever that Touch&Play thing was, I just craved it.

I was invited to facilitate a class at Touch&Play Mexico 2022 and had no idea what I was getting into. However, knowing that emotions, recognition and communication of chemistry, desires, and consciously playing with edges were part of it, felt like the light in the shadow that I needed to return to the dance floor.

I am sensuous, I love intimacy, I am emotional, I am wild, I catch on fire, I bite, I pull clothes, I cross boundaries. Touch&Play seemed like the perfect playground and community to learn to do it in love, respect, vulnerability and communication, a place to return to the untamed.

Three Touch&Play’s later and stepping into an organisational role, it has been a space for reconnecting with my body, finding community, a space for growth, and de-structuring my ideas around relating. Is where I’ve discovered kinship and wild souls, reconnected with my pleasure, and uncovered deeper,more authentic layers of myself.

The journey continues with its gifts, challenges, growth, and the ever-unfolding layers of self and mystery.

And I am sitting here in love and gratitude to be part of a project that feels like home.

Oaxaca, México.  November 2023

Tatiana Musi – Artist, Dancer and Touch&Play México organiser