free play

i had a cool conversation with my uncle this past weekend. he was a great soccer player - part of the USMNT Olympic Development Team as a player and later as a coach in the system. (he has since left for reasons you see below). he has coached at all levels throughout youth and college soccer.

and so i asked him what direction USA soccer should take, and more pointedly - why is the USA so bad at soccer? and he said (paraphrased)..."well, it comes down to culture. why are we good at basketball? partly cause kids play pick-up on the street, at the playground, at school, even after organized practices. kids find their style, their creativity, their own movement personality and way of expression through the game. soccer, like basketball, rewards personal flare inside of team flow and organization. but when was the last time you saw a lot of pick-up youth soccer at a park? go to europe, or to latin america, and they have 'free play.'" i started thinking about our culture of contemporary dance in the USA. and its the same. we lack the same thing. we need more "free play" to actually understand what is inside our body, or imagination, and practice sharing that. without that, we dont have much to offer a company, or a collective.

if we don't practice free play or pick-up or improvisation, or whatever word you wanna call it, we will never have it. and it can't be a little hear and there. it needs to be a lot and something we do since kids so we dont have to relearn what it means to free play.

lets advance our scene here.