When you see children dancing (and perhaps even join in!), when you bop around to ‘wherever, whenever’ (and you feel you’re getting into the groove), when you dance at home, by yourself, or with friends, in your kitchen or living room, be it for joy, sadness, energy – You know it.
You know that dance is a part of us all.
Whether we dance for life, for joy, for fun, for grief, for work (in whatever sense of the word), or something in between, I am a firm believer that dancing is for each and every one of us. It’s part of every culture.
It‘s part of human nature.
I have been trying to figure out how I feel about dance. Pondering how (and, at times, if!) I identify with it, and how/why it has found it’s way into my life.
The conclusion (if there is such a thing) seems to be: it depends.
There was a time that dance and I had a pretty contentious relationship. The love and joy I felt for it were enmeshed with feelings and questions of (self-) value, comparison, fear, self-criticism, self-image and – in part – a general lack of confidence. Yet, there are also times where I feel like dance has saved my life.
It doesn‘t matter.
Dance itself doesn’t do any judging. It changes shape, it adapts, it reflects what is going on on the inside, it makes us think, it makes us grow, it makes us feel.
As we morph, so does our relationship with dance.
It is a skill – like anything – that can be developed.
It is also a natural way of being.
It can be – in it’s deepest form – a way of expressing our true selves.
It can also be, at the same time, a powerful form of communication. A way to convey a plethora of emotions, connecting us on a level that transcends every language and ethnicity.
I believe that Dance, in a way, will always be part of life, albeit not necessarily ‘externally’.
What do you think? How do you feel about dance in your life, and in life in general?
This post has been inspired by the many dance-related experiences of the past few days (including hosting a weekend of dance with my mentor, the incredible Bozenka of Cuba/USA/Crete), as well as by this fantastic reflection on dance (and life!) by Monika Volkmar.