Lately, my body has been yearning to move differently and so I’ve been taking different dance classes. It’s also helped me to creatively express myself in a different way too. It’s been about a month since I’ve started these classes and aside from chassés and relevés I wasn’t expecting to learn some life lessons such as:
#1 Learning anything new just feels foreign. Not only to the brain but also to the body…especially something like dance. It’s almost like learning a new language. Of course there’s terminology but it’s also the brain recognizing what needs to be done but the body not cooperating that makes it a bit awkward. It’s a new language for the body to move and express itself differently.
#2 Dancing is a way to express yourself without saying a word. It comes from inside and extends out of you. Just like any other art form like music or painting, there’s a message, an emotion that is trying to be conveyed and expressed…a kind of communication that is probably more intimate and vulnerable than words could ever express.
#3 I’m not only dancing in these classes but I’m dancing throughout my day with students, friends, and strangers. I call it the invisible dance. There’s a give and take of this energetic dance we do. For example, when I’m teaching a yoga class, I take cues from my students with what’s needed in the moment and where I’ll lead them next. I give them a pose, they go into it and show me what they need and give me feedback. I take it in, and I give the next needed action. It’s a constant swirling of giving and taking…a playful invisible dance we’re doing in the room.
#4 Dancing has shown me not to take myself so seriously. Having no dance background, I was petrified to go to these classes, but knew I had to overcome this fear by continuing to go. I found myself judging and criticizing myself for being clumsy and feeling stupid when I couldn’t follow steps. But I learned that I needed to let that go. No one is judging me but me AND I’m there for myself and no one else. Do I still get self-conscious? Sure but I just have to let that go and keep moving!
#5 I am more open and accepting of myself and my body since I’ve started dancing. And because of this, I can be more fully present with what I’m feeling and thinking. I see it coming through my teaching…being more expressive with my words and also encouraging students to explore what’s going on within their own practice.
Notice how you’re “dancing” with those around you: coworkers, your partner or spouse, strangers, and friends. What’s being expressed through you? Is there a lighthearted playfulness or is it more reserved and cautious? One is not better than the other but you get to choose the kind of invisible dance you’d like to be having with others.
Cheers to a Healthy. Happy. Sexy. You.