To Dance With Joy

Dearest community,

During this challenging time of social distancing and isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, we here at BCF wish you good health, peace, and comfort. Even in the darkest of times, we have inside us the ability to shine our individual light. We encourage you to continue moving and dancing to lift ours and others’ spirits.

Please enjoy the following writing from Isadora Duncan, which she wrote to parents of her young students. Through children’s imagination and wonder, we can all seek and enjoy the beauty of natural movement…

Isadora Duncan speaks to parents (early 1920’s)

Youth and the Dance

The child is gloriously full of life. She leaps endlessly, filled with the
intoxication of movement. She is a young animal, growing in the midst of a joyous exultation, drawing in with the intensity of all her being the forces for her future life.

The growing of the child, and all his movements, bear witness to a harmonious rhythm expressing all growing life. To “train” the child it is only necessary to understand that the surest road, and the most beautiful, is to surround his living with an atmosphere of graceful movement. From this early environment a deep love of beauty will naturally develop.

For an understanding of the dance, the activities of the child should be directed into the channels natural to the tastes and capacities of childhood. It is not necessary to ask him great effort: let him breathe joyously, give free reign to his natural animation, having care only for the harmonious growth of his body.

Above all do not force on her movements toward which her nature rebels, but only lead her spirit and her body into accord with the most noble movements and the most spiritual expressions of mankind. Then the body becomes a spirit whose gestures are its language, and the young soul opens out to light, beauty and everlasting love.

Let the child thrill to this quiet training, as to those artists whose human existence have ended but who have left an immortal music.

Let the child dance as a child: don’t impose on him the attitudes and the gestures of an epoch which had nothing in common with simple living and true humanity. Let his dances express the soul of the child, at first in the beauty and lack of self-consciousness that belong to babyhood, then in accord with youthfulness, then with adolescence.

Conserve to the adolescents their strength and their full-lived youth. Let their dance be the reflection of the eternal ideal of glorious youth – youth’s dreams and aspirations made living. Let their dance be born of joyousness and strength and courage. Let it breathe the holy spirit of sacrifice of the young soldier!

And when they become embodiments of the modern vestals, they will be transformed: women in love with love and with the joy of motherhood. At this moment their dance, completed and distinctive, will be the most beautiful of all.