After the lecture on Levinas, I couldn’t help but reflect on an aspect in my life where I could apply his philosophy. It didn’t take me long to think about dance.
Through dance, I was able to emerge from my “il y a.” My “il y a” would be my shyness, lack of self-confidence, self-doubt, etc. Back in high school, I was a afraid to even audition for my school’s dance team because I didn’t believe in myself. This is what I wanted to do, it was passion, yet I was frightened to be the one dancing on stage. However, I was able to garner enough courage to audition, and thankfully, I got in. From then on, the shy and timid old me slowly became a confident and sociable person. I guess you could say that I was able to go out of myself through dance. I was able to emerge from the il y a and become the unique individual I needed to be.
How do I support the Other through dance? In a lot of ways, in fact. One would be supporting my teammates. Being in a dance team, it would be very ineffective if you would do everything just for yourself. You always need to have your teammates in mind. In a way, this is de-centering yourself and putting the I at the base to support the Other. You have to leave your ego behind in order for the dance team to be successful. You can’t have your own agenda, you must always support each other in the team and move as one. Thinking about it, generally, dance has taught me to be ethical to the Other. In the dance community, everyone is treated with respect (most of the time) even if you’re strangers. Also, regardless of skill or age, everyone will cheer for you in a dance cypher (again, not always, but most of the time).
I guess dance is this passion that brought me out of myself, which allowed me not only to be but also to escape being and serve the Other.
-Lawrence Racho JTA-A