Reflecting on Experimenting

In my first two years as a dance major, I was required to take dance composition courses every semester. In the first semester of the course sequence, we learn that there are rules and tolls we can use when we’re making a dance:

retrograding

changing the facing

playing with tempo

fragmentation

re-ordering the movement.

These changes are physical, and, as a result, tangible–it’s your own body that you’re editing. The experiments for Writing 220 have helped me realize significant change in myself and my voice in a not physical way. I’ve had to figure out some writing “rules and tools” for myself in a writing sense. They are not as tangible as they are in dance sometimes, but they are equally as important.

What I learned most from freshman composition and these experiments is that it’s okay to be a beginner again. It’s okay to not really know what’s going on or what’s due in class or what a good thing to say during workshop is. But it’s important to trust your creative voice and to follow where it leads. This is not to say that it’s perfect or brilliant or eloquent. But new growth begins in the absurd and unexpected. And a lot of work has to be bad before it’s good. Experimentation will always be part of the process.

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