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  • Nicole (Johnson) Williams

24. A Reflective Practice / the through-line to the journey

Updated: Dec 27, 2022

I've been writing a LOT lately, finishing the first semester of my masters program. And although I might not have many words left to write down, my ruminations have been plentiful/ongoing/overflowing/constant. A collection of thoughts:

a thought on time:

Time is an interesting and highly valuable commodity; maybe even more so than money. Time, unlike money, is something you only have a certain amount of. We spend it. We save it. We waste it. But one thing you can bet on... once it's out, it's out. And, much like the wealth inequities generated by a capitalistic society, how much of it you have to use depends on your intersecting relationships to power and privilege.

So how do we choose to spend... our time?


thoughts on teaching:

Reflective: Characterized by deep careful thought

Practitioner: Someone who practices a particular profession

Reflective Practitioner: A teacher who uses deep, careful thought to improve instruction

and refine the teacher’s personal pedagogy

-Doug Risner, Ph.D.


Engaged Pedagogy involves journeying “with students as they progress in their lives beyond our classroom experience. In many ways, I continue to teach them, as they become more capable of teaching me"

-bell hooks, 1994


considering the prioritization of [my] pleasure:

Pleasure Activism: Pleasure is a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment. Activism consists of efforts to promote, impede, or direct social, political, economic, or environmental reform or stasis with the desire to make improvements in society. Pleasure activism is the work we do to reclaim our whole, happy, and satisfiable selves from the impacts, delusions, and limitations of oppression and/ or supremacy.


exploring movement that is pleasing to my body; developing a practice of honoring/uncovering/decoding my own native tongue

When I consider my "dance journey," I usually start telling the story around age 14, when I first chose to devote myself to an intentional practice of body movement. Since then, I've added many tools to my movement toolbox in the form of different types of ballet, lyrical/contemporary, jazz, modern... you name it. For a professional dancer, versatility is key. But as I advanced in these styles, I devalued and neglected the purity and intuitive alignment of my own.

So, in the spirit of reflective practice, pleasure activism, and engaged pedagogy, I spend intentional time embracing my voice, exploring my own movement, and reflecting on its origins. Here are a few videos

Song: When the Party's Over (Yana Perrault)

Song: The One (Yana Perrault)

Song: Passion Fruit (Yana Perrault)

To me, a good improv sesh is like all day foreplay. It starts earlier in the week with a song (or album, or artist), then becomes a home-practice (stretching, strengthening, balance, alignment). Then it might turn into a little afternoon groove while I cook, clean, or every time I pass a mirror. And eventually it makes its way to the studio for some full-body movement that feels really good and I find great pleasure in looking at. A lot of times, I'll try to play with improvisational prompts or particular styles, but right now, I'd like to just lean into whatever feels pleasing to me. And that's all :)

... probably going back into my solitude until May ✌🏽

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