It’s been said that there’s a bit of insanity in dancing and depending on the dance, I agree. I remember dancing as a young boy with great joy and enthusiasm to the silent music inside me. I would twirl, spin around, shuffle my feet and eventually fall down on the ground laughing to some unknown music coming to me that no one else heard. Nietzsche verified this phenomena by saying: “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” Those who couldn’t hear the music eventually silenced mine for a time.
When I was fifteen I went to the Youth Center in our small town. I watched the girls and boys dance with each other and something in me came alive again. I’d been tuning in daily to Dick Clark’s American Bandstand after school and here it was, live and in color in my own town. I wanted to dance again . . . I practiced by myself at home and eventually went to a sock hop in the local gym to watch. The dancers were mostly girls with some coupled upper classmates dancing together. I wanted to dance but was afraid of girls and dancing in public.
Then, much to my surprise, one of the girls from my class came over and asked if I’d like to dance. I blushed and said ‘I don’t dance.’ She reached out her hand.I slowly reached back. She took me onto the dance floor and we danced. In one way shape or form I’ve been dancing ever since and never again have said ‘I don’t dance’. The rhythm, the beat, the flow, the movement of the body seems to speak a hidden language of the soul when the performance anxiety is dropped and one simply dances freely with the music . A sacred unity is experienced.
Agnes de Mille touches this experience: “To dance is to be out of yourself: Larger, more beautiful, more powerful. It’s glory on earth and it’s yours for the taking.” So when was the last time you experienced the glory of dancing? When did you allow the inner music or that which comes through headphones and other electronic devices to stir your soul, move your body and bring a smile to your heart and face? Presently I’m listening to Roger Smith playing fusion jazz called ‘Workin’ it’ and it’s got my head bobbin and my feet tappin because I’m working it.
I got so worked up that I just got up and danced my lower back pain away, loosened my shoulder muscles and unjammed my joints by moving with the fluidity of the rhythm of the divine dance that keeps asking me to Dance On……I’m thinking that dancing is one of the short-cuts to joyfulness because when I dance just to dance there’s a release of stuck and stagnant energy that’s replaced by a more fluid and enlivening energy. It’s magical. . .
Think of dancing as an exercise for your body and soul. Simply allow the beat and rhythm of the music to carry you away into a land of flowing and flowering. Feel the invitation of the music and tune out your calculative mind so you can tune into the prompts of your body. Bend, twist, sway swing, relax and release. Let go control. There’s no performance here, just an invitation to participate in the divine dance of life in whatever way you’re feeling it in the moment. Flex and flow, gently move into the stiffness and stuck-ness. Let the movement unleash your rigidity.
- Dance in private this week at least once until you’re pleasantly enlivened. Awaken to the lack of performance and the rhythmic fluidity in your body and soul. Continue moving gently while breathing deeply. Stretch your limbs, torso and head in rhythm to the music you’ve chosen. Be receptive to the freedom and joy you experience. Let your soul soar . . .
- As you engage this practice let go of all the conditioned inhibitions that have imprisoned you. Allow yourself to be touched by the infinite. Enjoy the intimacy of the moment. Allow your heart, soul, and body to feel the freedom of the river of Life flowing through you. Give expression to the rhythm and beauty of your heart song . . .
- When it feels right after your dance sit down and rest in stillness. Feel the wonder and joy of Life. Make a commitment to do this again and again. Make it a practice and notice the increase in energy, love and appreciation that’s generated. Experience the reverence and lovingness in the movement, in the stillness and……………… Dance on . . . !