The Dance of the Sea,


The Dance of the Four Elements,


The Dance of the Universe





In a nutshell, this is meant to be a very sensual and also a very spiritual set of movements.  You could call it a dance. 

   If the sea were to assume the form of a woman, she might awaken as a girl half in and half out of the water on a tropical beach.  The waves are gentle and warm; the wind soft.  As she begins to move she still feels the sea in its entirety flowing through her body.  But she focuses on her arms and legs, her muscles and the weight of her body pressing down on the sand. 

   She begins slowly to stretch, to test her muscles and movements, to see how to express all the feelings and sensations of the sea through the body of a woman.  


Movements imitating water are fluid, flowing, and move with continuity.  They are soft, sensuous, and sometimes wave like, a slow pulsing movement back and forth at times. 

   The dance can also be done with just one or all of the other elements.  With the element of earth, there is stability, pausing frozen in the moment, before moving toward another position of strength. 

   For air, the movements are lighter, more playful.  They almost bounce at times like a conductor directing an orchestra.  For fire, the movements are more sudden and forceful.  They expand outward with sharp movements that are intense.    

   For water, the eyes are inviting, full of longing, kind and loving, magnetically drawing the other in.  For earth, the eyes are silent and full of mystery, with a hint of no nonsense. 

   For air, the eyes are playful and curious, flirtatious.  For fire, the eyes are electric, burning, demanding, but also passionate as in hungry to embrace.       


Suggestions, Outline, Possible positions:


Start: in a fetal position, probably lying on right side on ground.  Knees up as far as they will go toward chin.  Head down toward knees.  Hands probably clasping each other near chin or in front of hiding the face.


Alternate Beginning: flat on stomach, arms above head, legs extended, side head of head on ground.




Phase One:


Slowly stretch the lower leg, right leg, straight out below the body and, at the same time, the right arm straight out above the head so that there is a straight line down the arm through the body and through the leg.  (that is, lower leg and lower arm moving out). The head can remain down or move as is natural during this.  The left knee remains bent up.


However, for example, at the beginning of the stretch or just after the full stretch, there starts an undulating motion, a alternating between the upper body, the head and chest, and the lower body, hips and legs, so that the left shoulder turns toward your back opening the chest to the sky and then the left shoulder turns back toward your front and down toward the ground.  


Opposite that motion the hips roll toward the ground in front

And then roll back so that now the lower body is open to the sky above. 


The body also naturally with the above curves and bends forward and backward, arching out and in. 


Very slowly, the legs begin like riding a bicycle scissoring or alternating so that one leg bends up as the other bends down. 

   Along with the legs the hands begin moving under the head, around below the neck, and up or down the back and butt and up the breasts and chest caressing the body again in an undulating motion, that is, the hands seem to move as if propelled by the hips and movements of the chest, in a wave like motion, as if carried by a wind or current of water flowing over the body.  


The hands caress as if a goddess is saying, “This is the perfect from to express my being.  Here is the shape I have assumed—every part is beauty, pleasure, and wonder.”


Gradually the upper body opens more as it slowly rocks one way and then the other so that more and more with each rocking motion the upper body is open to the sky and the back is then nearly flat against the ground.


And this alternates with the lower body doing the same, when chest is open to the sky the hips are rolled to the right and when the hips roll to the left the upper body is back toward the original fetal position with right shoulder on ground. 


If you play with this, it should make you feel incredibly good, that is, very sensually open and relaxed and free.  It is not just the sea, with its waves rolling, tides and currents, but the pull of the moon on the sea and the gravity that fashions galaxies into spirals and the joy of galaxies colliding, the openness of space itself that holds and gives birth to the stars and galaxies within depths. 


(You might work with occasionally looking at or toward the camera making eye contact during different takes.  The eye contact is startling because in a way the body movement implies that the woman is in a deep state of sleep, so that the gaze becomes a look into the depths of feminine awareness outside of the range of normal consciousness, whether the look relates innocence, sensuality, dark passion, deep need or beyond need, etc., the look is unexpected and a revealing of just how much power you have since in fact every aspect of movement is fully conscious but not of the rational mind)  


Phase two: 


Positions:  The Chinese might call this “the ascending dragon,” (wisdom and power), the elemental forces gathering their strength to arise to the heavens.   Some poses are familiar as in “I have seen that before but never in a context like this.”


The feeling of part one was “awakening by or to the call of bliss.”


The feeling of part two is “flowing,” moving as if a wave of water is turning you. Really great tai chi masters do not move.  The energy field they are within moves them.


The feeling of part three is like a flower blossoming, the petals the hands, but this is the flower of enlightenment and its scent is union with all things.  


No particular order:


Fully lying on stomach,

Both arms stretched forward in front of head, legs stretched out below, feet an inch off the ground. 


Moves to pressing up with outstretched arms in front so to raise upper body, looking up toward sky—so get arch and taut muscles in back and legs. 

   The feet and lower legs as this unfolds can point upward to the sky briefly so that both face is looking above and feet are pointing to sky.   (I know that is corny but it looks great in stills).  



Position: this is you on your stomach and with the upper body perfectly square, that is, the shoulders even (either upper body raised on elbows or for example head on ground and arms outstretched above head), and then the hips turn as far as possible one way and then, at some point, the other way while the legs extend to some extent below.   (This too looks great though it may seem ordinary.  It is however a still shot of a moving rolling over below)


Rolling over from say weight on right side turning toward back rolling all the way to stomach and then continuing to roll to right side again, leading for example first with upper body and then as come back leading with lower body, so that there is a distinct twist to the body during the movement, like a spring being wound up or a sense of uncoiling.     

    Typically, a girl rolling over is a girl rolling over.  But we do not I think ever see a girl rolling over with, say, the upper body leading which pulls the lower body which lags behind as long as possible and then it switches as if the lower body has gotten the momentum and is now leading and pulling the upper body which is resisting to complete the roll.  (There are a lot of photogenic variations that occur in this simple movement as in what can be done with the belly, head, arms, and legs)

  For example, upper body moves from lying on right side turning chest to sky as roll to left and when the upper body is chest down on ground the hips take over and lead as the upper body lags behind—the hands, arms, feet, legs highlight or emphasize the counter movements.


And also the classic “crawling” thing of one hand reaching forward and grasping the ground and the opposite knee forward as if crawling or clawing one’s way across the floor. 

   The difference is that this is a “waking up” kind of movement so the head can be low and move up off the ground and then down again as if at any point you might pause or stop to bask in the sun as if you are half in and half out of water or as if you momentarily fall asleep and then awake to resume the movement. It doesn’t require you to actually move forward on the ground, only that you simulate movement.   



Phase three: Sitting up


One way to sit up from prone position is to roll back into the fetal position, roll then so your knees are under you, moving in a way that gets you there, head still down toward knees and simply sit up so that you are in a sitting up with your knees under you position.  


See if there is a way for the butt to be between, on, or with the heels both to one side of the butt in this sitting position at different phases of movement, especially with an arch in the back.


In a sitting position, what takes over is your hands.   You have your hands behind you so that your wrists were crossed from behind and your palms are facing upward.  This might seem like a bondage shot but the palms up turns it into a liberation shot.


Others: The one hand being held palm up in front of your stomach and in front of the body. 


Crossing the wrists and also arms in front of your body with palms up, leaning slightly forward or looking up slightly,


And pushing with both hands against the ground on one or the other side or in front, so arms are straight, tense, and with a strong arch in the back.


The face in hands leaning slightly forward, but it changes as you “wash” your face with your hands, your hands moving then down your breasts, lifting face upward, and hands now between legs more toward knees as you again look upward slightly. 


The palms open with the back of the wrists on the round on each side of your body.  Like a supplication/prayer.  Again, looking up at some point.


Which has its opposite of palms down on ground on each side of your body and leaning down so hair or head are near ground.  Which is a prayer to or connecting to the earth kind of position. 


The inner dynamic of moving in this sitting position, instead of simply turning with the legs on one side of butt to other side of butt, can be done for example through a kind of leaning forward and backward repetition, kind of like the Jews at the Prayer Wall who bob forward and backward as they pray or as some people do sitting at computers, they slowly lean forward and back as they type, or the cobra weaving forward and back or in circles as it has lifted itself off the ground.  The upper body movement enables the change in the hip positions.


This can be extended into standing for example through dancing.  But the difficult part is in the previous material.



I wrote the following poem for Jessamyn, model #54058 at in response to her inquiry about visiting Hawaii for a shoot.  Scroll down to the artistic nude facing sea on beach shot by Darren Phillips.                            


Can a woman be an image of the sea?

If she stands on the beach

Is there more than a naked woman to see? 

If I say to her,

“If you feel it, someone will see it—

I want you to be for a few moments

The entire sea:

I want you to feel that the blood 

Surging through your body

Are the currents and tides 

And the waves circling world,

I want you to feel your breath is the winds

The drives the white caps,

That your skin vibrates

With all the waters of the earth

That the beauty of the seas, lakes, and streams

Is your beauty

That when your lips part

It is the songs of the sea that sing

That where your eyes gaze

You see the dreams of love

That have yet to flow

Through the hearts of humanity ….”

If I ask these things of her

And she gives me what I want

Will others see what I see?

Can anyone do what I can do so easily?

Enter her soul as she stands there

And feel the sea flowing though me

Without limitations, without anxiety,

Without restraint or a ravenous need to take

But rather the desire to celebrate

The power of the heart

To embrace all life on earth

And the wonder of being alive?

In this moment, for a few seconds,

Without any limitations, I am one with this woman

And, I tell you,

 I am surrounded by the beauty of creation. 



This is my attempt at a poem of what I have yet to see.



                     The sea dreams she is a woman




Do you see what I see?

In her thighs the union of earth and sky,

Where dawn sets sail for new harbors

Where twilight finds rest from all desire


To you hear what I hear?

From the depths

The ocean’s own breath

The wave’s crest curling, breaking

Releasing in sighs and cries


Do you feel what I feel?

As air and water her breasts caress

The sounding sea anointing me

With her heart’s blood of love. 


Young woman,

Ancient image of the feminine,

If I imagine I were you

That I could feel the things that you do—


The oceans my soul

Rivers my bloodstream

Rain my moist fluids

Lightning my heartbeat

Thunder my voice

In my hands the power to give life


But your movement, your form

As you turn, arising and descending

A sea of subtle curves

Every sense enchanting

The mind can only dream of such freedom

The heart strives to imagine such passion.



     In a Nutshell: the Magical Essence of the Feminine Spirit


The student says to me, “But I see nothing. Its just a girl rolling around in the sand.  What am I missing?”


The wisdom and spiritual traditions on earth are weakest in their understanding of the magnetic fluid.  Visualize a blue sphere six feet in diameter in front of you. 

   It is cool, soothing, attracting.  Like magnetism, its draws toward itself.  It is nurturing, containing, sheltering, and protecting.  It is pure receptivity without any form content. 

   It animates and brings to life whatever it holds within itself.  It heals, preserves, and inspires.  It rejuvenates.  It is the source of all beauty, love, and compassion in the universe.  

   The girl dancing is you embodying this magnetic fluid.  She is the stillness at the center of your heart that reflects the entire universe through itself. 

   To see it, become empty in your mind.  To feel it, let go of your identity.    To proceed further, put aside all fear.  Forget minutes, hours, schedules, and time in order to draw near this beauty. 

   It is as simple as letting go and flowing as each moment unfolds.  It is as deep as seeking and finding the divine hidden in your desires.  It is the fire of passion that is pure innocence.  It is a feeling of completion in which all separation is easily overcome.