By Talia Lewis
What do people do when they are happy? They dance!
Dance is something we all do when our favorite song plays and when we are out with our friends. It’s that delicious and wholesome feeling when you tune into your body while listening to music. Music fixes everything.
How is dancing healing? The power of movement brings holistic healing, because the body is not meant to sit and do nothing, it is built to be active. Exercise helps heal digestive problems, injuries, and tension. It helps emotionally, because it lifts your spirits and makes you feel alive, confident, and free. Dance is liberating, bringing joy and laughter, and any day without laughter is wasted. Dancing has the power to heal broken hearts and educate the public about current events, issues, and political concerns.
Choreographers’ dance works are authentic, based upon representing reality and embodying a truth. Dance allows room for individuality, encouraging uniqueness, which brings overwhelming feelings, and it releases endorphins (the happy hormone).
Furthermore, dance unites people from different backgrounds, races, cultures, disabilities, and sexualities. It is connection, connection with people or the music. When dancing with someone, chemistry is created. The connection between two bodies and souls sharing an intimate moment that is performed for the public is a touching moment, because life is all about relationships. Absorbing another’s energy by moving in sync to the same piece of music is an overwhelming experience. What could be more beautiful?
You don’t have to be a professional to enjoy dancing. Even if you think you don’t have rhythm, dance is about freely moving, exploring, and experiencing your body. It’s about community, meeting new people and socializing.
Also our biggest insecurities tend to be in the flesh, but dancing is about expressing the true spirit and allows you to relax and be you. It helps us accept who we are, by acknowledging and accepting our imperfections. Learning how to just let go and let be takes years for many but may take less when immersing yourself in a dance class. Initially dance classes help explore who you are, by acknowledging your weaknesses and working on your strengths, finding out your creative sides and allowing you the freedom to explore your capabilities in a safe environment. Most of all, the key traits to discipleship and leadership such as devotion, discipline, dedication, determination, organization, listening, and giving energy even if you are tired are all learned within a dance class.
Many people struggle to let go of perfection and move on. They struggle to express with words and be vulnerable. During tough times, our emotions attack our confidence and motivation. Dance encourages and challenges one to be strong. The dance community allows one to be in a comfortable, accepting space, because it accepts all differences.
From a dancer’s perspective, it is difficult to answer “Why do you dance?” Every day is a challenge, physically, mentally, cognitively, spiritually, and emotionally. Your body is your tool. Dance is not just moving to music. It is renewing spiritually and opens the mind to new explorations.
When I don’t dance or practice, I am less productive, distracted, and bored. In humanity there is a constant search for something new or for something exciting and original. Dance opens those doors. It invites people to try new things, push limits, awaken the mind, stimulate the body, and challenge the memory. The amount of room for creativity through the body is limitless. We become more aware of the liveliness and aliveness that dance gives as opposed to technique.
Developmental psychologist Howard Gardner expresses that we forget to immerse in creative practices after primary school. He says that all the types of intelligences—linguistic, logic, body kinesthetic, spatial, musical, interpersonal, and intrapersonal— complement each other. Dance helps explore all these intelligences through different tasks.
As an artist, teacher, choreographer, and performer, my mission is to create dance works that inspire and educate. My concept “Making it Visual” is to visualize and express in any creative way one’s story to make a statement. This idea corresponds to the notion that, as a dancer, we visualize the music, by embodying stories, to change perceptions of society today. Dancer and choreographer Martha Graham states that “the body never lies.” No matter what you think or say, your body tells a story. We can read your truth through your movement.
So let’s get moving, release those happy endorphins, meet new people, express yourself, learn to let go, explore, and become stronger and more flexible! Join a Zumba class or dance studio or ballet class or any genre of dance that you feel comfortable in. You will be part of a community, which in life is very important, especially when it comes to support. Help make the world a happier and more peaceful place. Let’s celebrate life through dance!