As far back as I can remember I have loved to dance. I can still feel myself as a young girl dancing with the sunlit air dust at Spartan Village, the family housing at Michigan State University, where my parents were working on their degrees. We left “Partan Village” when I was four, to embark on the next part of the family adventure. In my young mind, I could feel the warmth of the sun on my face as I danced in its rays, the dust particles floating effortlessly around the space enchanting me. I danced, and danced, and danced. Free of all time, space, and outside interference.
This has never changed for me. Recently I have found myself beckoned back to the dance with an expressive need to move through, to feel, open, and heal. In it I can let go, I can fly, I can mourn, I can surrender, and completely BE. Throughout my life I have turned to dance. As I left the innocence of childhood and began to care about what others thought, I learned how to close the door and pull the shades, so I could dance with wild abandon. In anger, in joy, in courage, in blind faith, in love, in anguish, in surrender, grace, wild, and crazy – all of it is welcome in the freedom of true expressive dance. One can even stand still and dance within, the beat of the music pounds its way across our rib cage, down into our toes, around our torso and connects us to our breathing heart.
I suppose one could say I am a wee bit crazy, but if you explore dance culturally (https://list25.com/25-amazing-dances-from-around-the-world/ ) and through history (https://www.theodysseyonline.com/the-evolution-of-dance-throughout-the-decades?altdesign=socialux&utm_expid=.oW2L-b3SQF-m5a-dPEU77g.1&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F), it has always existed. You can observe its changes based upon our societal ebb and flow – reserved and controlled at times, while at others wild and raw. A form of art expression that I find healing, cathartic, and rejuvenating.
There have been times in my life that I clung to the release of dance. Growing up with acres of woods I could run forth and dance freely among the trees, no one watching. I let myself express until sweat dripped from my chin and my breath came in short gasps. Later in life as I faced traumas and challenges, I often wished for a larger space than my home, to unleash myself in the expression of dance. Closing curtains, locking doors, and turning the music to max volume, I disappeared into the purgative cleansing of body movement.
Dance is a homecoming. It brings ALL of our being into the space of self-oneness. If you research the power of dance you will find that it has healing effects for the body, mind and spirit. Here are few videos and articles that share this powerful truth:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwEL0IsRe_0 Marine Corp Vet introduces Dance to heal himself and others.
http://exit12danceco.org/video Dance Company created by Roman Baca US Marine Corp Vet
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9gAe9H5Rok Graduate student presents about use of movement to heal agent orange Vietnam victims.
In the last few months I find myself really exploring dance, wanting to bring it into my work with clients and workshops. The first step for me is using myself as the proverbial “guinea pig” exploring, researching, trying out new things, and allowing the answers I seek to surface. Dance in the American culture is often just thought of in the bar scene, or on the stage as a performance. We do not want to do it anywhere else for me might look silly. Yet, I ask you, can you watch these and not smile, not want to wiggle and join in? Can you find a person that is not responding with joy?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DiQUX11YaY Sydney Australia
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OREjpd9ULh4 London Proposal
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_hlvRNgGOQ More than 250 people participated in a ‘feelgood’ stunt this morning during rush hour at the Central Station in Antwerp, Belgium.
Dance brings me home! It centers me into my full being, in the NOW moment, and gives the maximum freedom to express. I hope you have not outgrown your childlike desire and wonder to dance. May I have this dance…