Sunday 17 July 2022

F$%k Cancer Huka Mambalsa Style

I was killing time in between a blood test at UCLH and my Mambalsa workshop in Kings Cross when I saw Peter Lovatt AKA Dr Dance's F$%k Cancer Huka at the Also Festival.

I totally get it! Not only as a dance teacher who encourages the expression of anger positively within dance, but also an integrative counsellor at The Nightingale Cancer Support charity in Enfield, and not forgetting my own recent diagnosis with lymphoma.

I believe that expressing the spectrum of anger, frustration etc. through the aroused emotion within dance is very healthy. So many partner dances involve expressive power that allows us to release our anger. Perhaps we should create a Mambalsa version of a L'Apache dance from France!

In between slurps of coffee, I studied Peter Lovatt's Huka then put it into the Mambalsa framework.

The footwork sequence of Mambalsa means we could have seamlessly segued from the fiery Huka into a fun partner dance whilst still enjoying the benefits of venting our personal frustrations.

As we danced the Huka in a group I noticed a serge of anger being expressed. When I slapped my arms I noticed the pain from the site of my earlier blood test and it didn't matter on bit.
I'm not sure we're ready to face down the All Blacks, but it was a wonderful opportunity to explore a small but significant part of New Zealand culture physically, from the inside out.
Afterwards I felt energised and happy. Perhaps we'd shifted aroused anger over to aroused joy, then slipped gently down to a state of satisfaction. Perhaps I should let the Rolling Stones know how it's done!

Here's the clip of the All Blacks's Huka, It's Awesome!!

If you're interested in dance psychology I totally recommend Peter Lovatts book 'Dance Psycology' You can guess what it's about :)

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