Why I Yell In My Students' Faces / by Ben Weston

In the middle of the lesson, I stopped his dancing and the music.

His dance technique was fine but something felt off.

I walked in front of him, stood inches from his face and told him: “I want you to push me off my feet. Correction: I want you to *try* to push me off my feet.”

He was confused but still open enough to entertain me.

We dropped into a slight squat, locked arms, and began to push against each other.

I wasn’t budging as he silently resisted for 30 seconds. 1 minute.

Still nothing from him.

So, I began to yell in his face.

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Back in 2013, I auditioned for a well known dance company. I made it to the final rounds and was given the chance to do one of the company’s choreographies.

Me and a few other men were shirtless, in formation, kneeling on stage in front of the directors.

After being shown the sequence of moves, we were told to gradually increase in intensity as the music progressed.

When describing the peak intensity of the choreo, the director told us:

“I want you to get lost in a devotional trance. I want you to get consumed in that state of wanting to fuck someone up or fuck someone.”

Oh, HELL yeah.

As the music started to build, we all started to growl and grunt, launching ourselves up then slamming our bodies into the ground.

By the time we were done and standing, I felt like a wild lion: kingly, full of pride, with every patch of my skin on fire ready to fuck anyone up that came in front of me or my own.

It was intoxicating.

Even after my group was asked to walk off the stage, my eyes were locked on the director, chest flared, panting and growling, ready to fuck him up.

Maybe that’s why I didn’t get in  :)

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After about a minute or so, he still wasn’t pushing me anywhere.

So I pushed harder and began to yell in his face.

“Is that honestly all you have? Push me. Fuckin. PUSH. ME.

I CAN NOT feel you. PUSH ME!”

He started to get pissed.

He dug his heels into the ground, squatted lower, and pushed harder as he began to growl, grunt, and yell.

“There we go. That’s better, dude. Remember, the dance moves you use don’t matter. When you’re out there (dancing), can you trust and allow yourself to show up as your full playful child self? Tender lover? Or in this case, wild animal?”

The men I work with often have a desire to let out that primal side but whenever there’s a natural impulse, by the time it goes through the gauntlet of “Is this ok?” and “Will I look stupid?” the impulse is squashed.

There’s one way to start small and begin to build up that comfort and trust with your wild animal.

Growl.

It doesn’t have to be some big lion’s roar at first.

Start small. See how it feels.

But let it come from the depths of your belly.

Growl in pleasure over the taste of that perfect steak.
Growl in appreciation when your lover caresses your neck.
Grown in joyous celebration when dancing to your favorite song.

Growl, you fuckin beautiful animal.