Submitted by Violet Harlow, 41, Female.
part I- I am
What do you do for paid and/or unpaid work? For paid work I'm an Artist/Ceramic instructor and I also work in a gallery/frame shop. For unpaid work I am a "reader" ....an intuitive-clairvoyant-medium, a tarot reader & an astrologer.
What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? I love to research; art, herstory, physics/metaphysics, and watch movies & cat videos.
What do you like to do for fun? I enjoy gathering with friends for cooking and eating food, tasty drinks and laughter. I LOVE gardening indoors and out!
What is your cultural background and do you think it has influenced the way you move? If yes, how? I am of Italian, Greek, Hungarian & Czech lineage. I am not sure if it has influenced me...
part 2 - my movements
What does the word 'movement' mean to you and do you consider yourself a 'mover'? I feel like movement has taken on a bit of emotional or political resonance. I am moved by kindness, compassion, injustices, and daily life more than in the physical sense, unfortunately. I am sedentary in my body in relationship to my heart and head.
What is your earliest memory of moving? Crawling. Exhilaration of being able to get from point A to point B.
Many people say they want to feel 'confident' and 'comfortable' or that they admire people who look 'confident' and 'comfortable in their own skin'. What do these words really mean to you and can you describe them as a way of moving? I do believe that the air of confidence and comfort in one's own skin effects how one moves in their own body. I see the effects of this both positively and negatively in my own body. On a day where I feel upbeat and willing to connect in a general way, I feel my stride change, becoming more intentional, walking with a spring in my step, and I hold my head up high. If I am in an inward-pensive mood and don't feel like sharing it, my entire way of walking, holding myself and general connectivity reflects this.
What are some of the things you like about the way you move? I love to dance around my living room. I don't go to clubs any more, but I used to go regularly, and loved moving around anonymously in the dark not paying attention to others. I love to move in a way which feels expressive of my animal, sensual side!
Which side of the mouth do you chew with more? pretty evenly both
Are you right handed, left handed or ambidextrous? How does this affect your movement choices in daily life? I write with & chop veg with my right hand. I use both hands to make art and ceramics.
How much sleep would you generally say you need and do you get it? if not why? I sleep approx. 5-6.5 hours a night. It is not enough, but it's hard for me to get sleepy/tired and to get into bed within the window of sleepiness, or I cycle through more wake time, and then am up doing art or just thinking. I would love 2+ more hours a night, but I must work work work. Boo.
Do you take naps? If yes whats an ideal nap length and place? I am not a napper. I am jealous of those who can nap. It takes me forever to fall asleep. On the off chance I do nap, I am a groggy mess afterwards.
What do you consider really beautiful about your movement habits? And is there someone in your life you really admire for the beauty of their way of moving? Who and why? Hahahahahahahahaahhaaaaaa! Not I!
I admire my dancer friends. They are so lovely to watch on stage and off as well. Being so present in their own skin, frame, space is something I wish I had too! :(
When you need to concentrate on something do you find yourself 'moving'? If yes why do you think that is? Sometimes, on an important phone call, intensely talking with dear friends, I pace, stepping firmly as I do. I used to be a phone-doodler, but that was ages ago.
Do you specialise in a sport of movement practice? If so what and why? Or do you consider yourself more of a generalist in your movement choices. What do you dip in and out of? I am a dipper. a little dipper. I LOVED taking a belly-dancing class when I was in my early 20's, I'm off-again/on-again taking walks around my neighborhood or on route to work, and dancing in my home listening to music...
What sort of 'daily rituals' do you preform? I meditate before I sleep almost every night, and have for years, and I say my "prayers" (for lack of a better word) in the morning.
Do you remember a time in your life when you moved differently to the way you move now? I move more confidently now than ever before, because I accept myself now more than ever before. I used to be more fluid in my movements, but am not giving up on that being my state of moving again...
part 3 - my body
What does 'self-care' mean to you? This is a biggie! Self care is how I care for my Self: my Soul, Heart, Mind & Body. It encompasses the whole entity of the Self.
Sometimes, I can get stuck focusing on one more than the others, and feel way off balance, and when that happens, I know it's time to re-group and get it in check.
I require regular, long baths, nurturing friendships, eating healthy foods, spending time in nature and lots of "down-time" to keep it in order, and a gentle approach to all, or the walls of Self-Care crumble before me!
Which phrases do you use often to describe your body? Where do you feel or locate these words on your body? My poor body, I really feel bad for it, like it's this entity entirely aside of ME. I call it the Meat-Puppet in jest, but not really jokingly. It needs more love and attention than it gets. It's able-bodied, voluptuous and very very tired. Poor thing.
What are some of the things you feel you need to do each day to make you feel good about your body? A good, satisfying shit. If I am not "moving" in a healthy way in the bathroom dept, it's a bust. No bueno. Seriously. And I need to hydrate. And brush my teeth.
Have you ever been injured? How? Does it still affect the way you move? I broke my ankle once, sprained my ankle once and busted a few bones of my foot (all on the left side) once and I find that I am conscious of running because I don't want to re-injure it ever ever ever again. Crutches suck. And I am not that coordinated without crutches, so the challenge was extra challenging!
part 4 - me and others
With whom do you talk to most about movement? I am embarrassed at how little I am motivated to move my body. If my body was as active as my mind, I would be super-fit. Sigh...
What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had with someone about movement? My best friend is a dancer by profession, he once said that it'd be a great start to and end of my day if I added 5+ minutes of stretches to each. Sometimes I do it. When I am in a "good" pattern of stretching, it leads to me wanting to and actually move more, willingly.
With whom do you move most? A girlfriend of mine encourages us to take hikes and walks together. I am often reluctant, but love it when I do!
What are some of the things you admire about the way other people move? Grace, I love watching graceful movement. I feel like I am the opposite of a graceful mover.
Does the way people move ever catch your eye when out in public spaces? Describe the last stranger to catch your eye and what you noticed. Yes! I notice arrogance and overt sexuality in the way people move. Sometimes it's merely an observation, and sometimes it's a real turn off. I notice a hesitance and protectiveness in body language too.
Do you prefer to exercise in a group or alone? Please explain why. Solo. I feel like an oaf when I am exercising, especially when I went to the gym. I hate the gym, even though it's a place to get healthy and fit constructively. I always think about "1984" at the gym. Yikes. If I am dancing at a party, or at a music event, I love the energy of all of us moving together. It feels creative and alive!
Have you ever taken part in a holiday, event or challenge that had some sort of movement as it's focus? If yes please describe your experiance. OMG, I remember this time I visited friends, (it was Thanksgiving weekend) two of whom move for a living- one is a dancer and the other is a stunt-man/actor. To say they were peak physical fitness is an understatement. When they asked if I wanted to go hiking, I had no idea what I was in for. Now, this was like 12 years ago, I was 40 lbs lighter, moving daily and eating a high vegan diet. I couldn't keep up with them, and felt like such a jerk, not wanting them to know how winded and in discomfort I was as we trekked through this little hilly terrain climbing small rocks and such. The other couple of friends with us didn't seem to have any difficulty. The next day, when they asked if I'd like to go again, I offered to stay back at the cabin, and I made a huge feast instead.
part 5 - me and the world
What do you find yourself sitting on most often and how do you like to sit? The couch, often in a sideways recline watching a movie. I don't sit too much during the day, as I am on my feet for work most of the time. Sometimes I sit for short periods on a stool or chair though.
How often do you sit on the floor? Can you describe how your body feels when you sit on the floor? Off and on, I go through periods of lots of floor-sitting. Not too much lately though. When I am at home and feel like floor sitting, I have a zabutan I enjoy. I like to prop my spine up and sit cross-legged on that. It helps with my slouchy posture.
What kind of surfaces does the skin on your feet and hands come into contact with througout an average day? Feet: spent in boots all day, standing or walking on very hard surfaces, including walking on pavement. Hands: 2 days per week/clay. 4 days: art framing supplies. And many days, I cook, so there's a lovely assortment of foods I am interacting with closely, chopping, stirring with wooden spoons, etc.
Is there an exercise trend you refuse to participate in? If so what and why? Zumba. No amount of coercing can get me to participate in that stuff. A) I do not follow directions well; left foot, right arm- forget it. B) It looks ridiculous like line-dancing. Ugh. C) I may not be a surly punk teen any more on the outside, but I still have residual surl inside!
What is your favourite song or type of music to dance to? I dig the sultry stuff, chicas with smokey voices are rad, I adore my new-wave tunes, and funk, lots of funky funk!
Do you consider how your mechanical environment impacts your movement choices on a day-to-day basis? What would you most like to change about your mechanical environment? Yes, the way I feel about my work environment directly effects my non-working movement. I am often exhausted before work (for lack of sleep) and afterwards (because of long hours depleting my energy) that I have such little interest in extraneous movement on most days. I would like a different schedule/job/way to feel freer so I desire moving more.
How do you take the stairs? For example do you have a rhythm, is it always the same or do you do different things? Please explain. I usually step right first. one at a time. I have short legs, so taking 2 steps at a time is awkward feeling.
What surface do you walk on most? Concrete and paved surfaces.
How much time, on average, would you say you spend looking at 'screens' during the day? At work- minimally- maybe under half hour daily. At home, I use the internet to email, research, or stream movies, between 1-3 hrs on any random day.
Describe the last horizon you saw. Some car alarm was going off last night, pre-dawn. I looked out and saw the Moon and Venus above the horizon. Pretty!
What material do you like most against your skin? Are there materials you won't wear? I like cotton best. I don't care for scratchy materials or fabrics that don't breathe well, like nylon or polyester.
Do you have a favorite pair of shoes? Please describe the shoes and why they are your favorite.: My Miranda boots by Doc Marten. I have had the zipper replaced and the soles are busted but they were butter-soft and required no "breaking in" period, unlike many boots.
Do you vary your footwear? I have 2 pair of Doc boots I rotate out, and on occasion, I sport Chuck Taylor high-top sneakers. And on the hottest of Summer days, when I am not working, I wear strappy sandals.
How much of your day do you spend barefoot and what was the last surface you felt with your bare feet?: I always remove shoes and socks when I get home from work. Wood floor.
Do you ever wish you were a different gender? Heck no, I love being born a woman. I feel like I have been a man in other lives, and maybe will again. That's good enough for me.
Do you think men and women move differently? If yes, please describe what those differences are. Yes, I notice women making conscious moment choices often. I see them using their bodies to manipulate or effect others via sexual or sensual movements. I also notice women hunching and slouching shoulders inward to divert away from receiving unwanted attention. These movements can be done in a feminine or masculine way.
I rarely see men do this as overtly, other than a "cock-of-the-walk" strut.
All these behaviors I notice are aside from the individuals' preference of mate too...
Do you think men and women occupy space differently? If yes please give an example. Yup. I often see women sitting or holding themselves in such a way to make themselves appear smaller. On occasion, I catch one of my gay guy friends doing something similar, to look thinner, but not smaller...
What sort of cultural expectations do you think influence the way women move? Fucking stupid ass media has poisoned us to one degree or another at one time or another, either directly or indirectly. ANY woman who said otherwise to me is a miracle child from a miracle family who may have lived in a bubble. I feel like I want to flip our culture the bird! I feel so heartbroken for the young women of our times who are inundated with unrealistic imagery and visual role models which are not accurately representing their natural gorgeous bodies! Lots of hair-flipping and slouched shoulders as a result.
What sort of cultural expectations do you think influence the way men move? Be strong and commanding. But not even all of them. There's the "metro" movement which opened up some other less-butch ways for men to move, with less grunt and more flair, men can be more feminine now than ever. Lucky bastards have no idea how they're still in the fast-lane...
Do you see any connection between movement practices and religion? If so what and why? Dang, well, maybe I will now!