“NSS: So how does anything happen if individuals aren’t deciding to do 

SP: That’s the miracle. That’s the phenomenon. That’s what we’re trying to find out. We’re trying to find out if anything happens if you have a really democratic situation.


NSS: And by “democratic,” what do you mean?

SP: One person, one vote.

NSS: One person, one vote, means that you only get your own vote. So I can’t control your behavior… I mean, I could try with my one vote.


SP: You can’t control. See, the word “control” is not part of the politics of mutuality. It’s more influence. [N: Mmm!] It’s more like invite. It still requires two people, but it’s not a question of leader; it’s a question of follower. So if you have two people who are followers, what are they following is the question.

There’s the Small Dance; something is always happening there, so all you have to do is get into the Small Dance. Then I started saying: see if you can find an alignment with the other person’s Small Dance; see if you can follow the other person’s Small Dance—which is an initiation, but it’s an initiation…it’s not leading the other person’s Small Dance toward you or any kind of concept like that. It’s following, and it’s in alignment with that whole thing of the two followers. That the two followers create a …leading something.


NSS: They’re trying to follow yours as you’re trying to follow theirs.


SP: Yeah.


NSS: This approach uses—and this is brilliant, too—the Small Dance as a foundation for attention and for action in the Contact form.


SP: Yes. As far as I know, it’s the lowest place the consciousness will easily go.


NSS: The smallest unit of sensation that you could perceive?


SP: Yeah, and movement. It’s a reflexive movement that you can see. You can watch your heart beat. Here is the Small Dance holding you upright, balancing, and constantly changing, and—at least as I perceive it—the more you keep your awareness there, the finer and more global it becomes."

extract from 'The Politics of Mutuality a conversation with Steve Paxton at the kitchen table' with Nancy Stark Smith, for CQ Mad Brook Farm, Vermont September 7, 2016

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