I am an avid dancer. Discovering this passion and putting the effort into helping it flourish has brought more wholeness and confidence into my life. I’ve also loved teaching dance for the past several years.
I’ve been wanting to write about this subject for some time, but always stopped short when I reminded myself that dancing, in the strictest sense, is not for everyone. But dance in a broader sense and dance as a metaphor applies universally. Dancing is about moving in the moment through space with grace and integrity, about flowing in harmony with internal or external rhythms, voices, moods, lyrics. It’s about living in the present. It’s an attitude, an approach to life that leads to moving with intention and measured breath. Dance is a form of meditation which can be practiced while alone in our homes, on a special dance floor, or walking across a parking lot.
As an instructor, I pay attention to the dancer’s “frame,” his/her way of holding the body while dancing alone, with a partner, or in a group. Dancers are encouraged to carry their own weight which means using their muscles and tendons to keep them “up” and in charge of their energy. This means they will remain upright if a partner suddenly pulls away. Dancers must learn both to cooperate and to resist, simultaneously. Of course, these frame principles are equally true for committed love relationships.
Dancing life means using our spirits creatively to become artists. According to Jacques D’Amboise, the famous ballet dancer, dancing is “your pulse, it’s your heartbeat, it’s your breathing. It’s the rhythms of your life. It’s the expression in time and movement of happiness and joy and sadness and energy.” According to Gerry Spence, the lawyer, “The way people move is their autobiography in motion.” We can all begin, at this moment in movement, to write our autobiographies with more intent, carrying our own weight with more cooperation and more resistance.