What Each Dance Brings to Me, Especially In Relation to The Five Elements

I tend to go through seasons of different dances, and sometimes wondered if there was something wrong with me. Why couldn’t I just stick to one dance?

And when people would ask me which was my favourite, I’d have troube answering that question. All the dances- from salsa, to bachata, to tango, to kizomba, to zouk- seemed to bring me something different, but I couldn’t explain what exactly. Until… I heard about the Five Elements of Chinese Medicine. And voila! Just like that, I got my answer. See, the Five Elements- are within all of us, but we are dominant in some, and have different amounts of them within us. Sometimes, they are in balance, and sometimes, they are very out of balance or craving a little bit of a less dominant element for a little while.

I realised that different dances were helping me tap into different elements that were undernourished, or needed revitalizing.

And learning about this system through two beautiful bellydancers- Dondhi and Titanya Dahlin really got me excited to share with you these wonderful insights.

Do you tend to stick to one dance? Or are you a dance dabbler like me?What do you think you get from different dances? And does your choosing them depend on your mood, who you’re with, the city you’re in, or even the DJ who might be spinning that night?


I’d love to hear your comments about this, and any of the elements you might resonate with. I will be giving a brief description of them at the start of the video. But you can always find out more details about this fascinating personality and health system through Dondi Dahlin’s book simply called The Five Elements.

Click on the link below to get into the Youtube Channel and then choose the video with the same title as this blog post:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX_K65HYLIlJWuwSBWGv6rw

The Milonga Mystery

(I do not claim to own this picture. Photographer and source unknown).

I was watching the movie I Feel Pretty the other night. And the main character Renee, played by the hilarious Amy Shumer, was complaining to her girlfriends about online dating. She was emphasizing how the guys only look at the pictures, and so if you’re not pretty in the guys’ eyes, they skip right past you.

She was so passionate in her monologue at that point. Her friends laughed, but you could also feel the hurt she had been holding in for so long, needing to get out. And it was how she ended it that rung inside me over and over: “And you didn’t even want to go out with this guy in the first place. But he’s rejecting you and it’s not fair. I’m sick of it.”

I know that feeling, I thought. But not because of online dating. Because of tango, and not because of the dance itself, but because of my experience of going out to some of the Vancouver milongas in particular.

Okay, I can’t believe I said that out loud, or wrote it out loud, but I am kind of relieved, because like Amy Shumer’s character, I’ve been keeping this inside for way too long. Maybe some of you tangueros out there will be shocked or disagree with my thoughts. But maybe, or I’m thinking most likely, there are people out there who can relate to this. More than they care to admit. So I am admitting it for all of us.

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It’s the Ma Moments in Dance, and Life, That Are to Be Treasured

Photo by Melike B. on Pexels.com

If someone asked me what I love about dance the most, I could list off quite a few ideas. But one in particular, I never knew quite how to describe: those moments of pauses, breaths, and silences in our bodies, and the music, when we are moved even if not actually physically, but from the inside out.

That space when our feet press into the floor ever so slowly and we can feel the floor pressing back up, connecting us to something bigger. That space. That slowing down…

What could I call it? Matrix style?

I tried capturing the concept of it in poetry, but the words would escape me. It seemed like something only someone who actually had experienced it would really grasp. And words didn’t seem sufficient enough to explain that space.

But then I would laugh, realising it’s not just in dance. It’s also IN the words, within poetry, lyrics, novels. I realised there too was that magical gap, a breath, a sigh, a whisper amongst the letters and phrases. They are not just to be seen, or thought through in the mind, but felt and heard, with the heart, and spirit.

It’s like a space that spirit grants us for a few seconds sometimes. A space that shows us and takes us into a realm of all possibilities. We come out changed, deeper, without even knowing exactly what happened. We just want to feel it and experience it, and be a part of it again.

And I remember thinking I wish there was a word for this. But how can there be for such a sparkly, stardusty concept that we can’t even hold in our hands? Could we ever find letters to capture it on paper?

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Your Vigour for Life, and Dance, Appalls Me ;-)

I was walking back from an appointment yesterday, and I stopped in front of this cute book shop. I tend to search not just for books through the window of shops like this, but for messages, from the Universe, I guess you could say.

For a couple of months, it was a little sign on the doll house in that shop that I took in as the message I needed: It said, “Books make a big difference in even the smallest of houses.” I smiled because my apartment is definitely small, and I have a lot of books in it. I find it difficult to part with them though. And I thought that this was the Universe’s way of telling me that maybe I don’t need to, at least not anytime soon. They put magic into my surroundings and it’s okay to hang on to them a little longer.

But today, I saw this book title and author in that same window that I had never heard of before. It was called Your Vigor for Life Appalls Me, by Robert Crumb. I was a little startled at first. I thought, what kind of a message is THAT? But I also considered that actually, that’s a pretty gutsy thing to say to someone or even to announce on a book. I was kind of intrigued, and of course, couldn’t wait to look it up when I got home. And then I laughed, because I thought this could actually be very fitting right now, as a message from the Universe.

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Dance as a Way to Share With the World Who You Really Are- Interview with Val Wang

I know you through Zouk, but did you start out in Salsa like many of the Zouk dancers? What is your dance background?

Bellydance is my first dance. Before any social dances, I used to train and perform with “Leilan”, a Tribal Fusion Bellydance Troupe at Stanford University. I was first introduced to Zouk by some Bachata friends. I couldn’t get it out of my mind after a glimpse of it.

Oh wow! I didn’t know you started with Bellydance. Now it makes sense why your hip movements look so fluid and effortless.

What is it about Zouk, and/or Lambazouk, that draws you to it?

In the beginning it was the connection, the music, the free-flowing movement and the seemingly infinite possibilities of things you can do in Zouk that drew me to it. Later, as I went on to perform and teach Zouk, I liked that it makes me reflect upon body awareness, breathing, mindfulness and spirituality. It’s like an area in life where I can observe my own growth and my blind spots.

Lambazouk is similar but it has more of a wild, happy and uplifting energy that I really enjoy.

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Interview With Amyn Sunderji- On Food, Music, and Memories

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Where were you born?

Tororo, Uganda

And when did you come to Vancouver?

I landed in Vancouver on the 13th of February, 1974. The sun was shining and crocuses were in bloom.

Aww,… beautiful. How long after that did you open up your restaurant- Kilimanjaro?

I opened the restaurant in November of 1978.

What made you decide on a restaurant?

When I was in the States at university, after years’ worth of cafeteria food, (laughs) I got tired of it.

Oh, I didn’t know that (laughs).

Yes, so I wrote to my mom, and asked her for recipes. She sent me some, as well as spices. And I started cooking at home. So I was always interested in cooking while I was going to university.

And that continued here in Canada?

Well, over here, I first got an insurance business- a mutual funds business.  I was selling insurance, I was selling mutual funds. But I would always take the clients out for lunch.

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The Story Teller and Other Pieces -Interview with Writer Pramod Kumar

The Story Teller by Pramod Kumar

Some untold stories

To die is one thing, to fall in love is another…

To live is one thing, to be alive is another…

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The café was full as usual. Though located in downtown, it was particularly mannered compared to its other counterparts.

It was not the aroma of the freshly baked coffee beans that pulled women to this part of the town, but the young lad who used to tell stories- stories with strange endings, which sometimes would leave the audience spellbound, sometimes in rage of anger, sometimes in tears. They would promise themselves not to come to him again, not to listen to his stories again. But the promise was too hard to keep for they had become addicted to the drug he secretly served in his stories. Continue reading

French Flows Like a Dance- Interview with Oceane- French Teacher

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Which part of France are you from?

I am from a small city in the North of France called Saint Amand les Eaux, close to Lille.

Did you always know that you wanted to be a French teacher?

It’s funny actually how teaching became my life purpose without me even noticing. My mom was a teacher, and I originally never wanted to become one, as I was seeing all the drawbacks of the job. But when I was 16, I became a French and Mathematics tutor for the younger kids of my neighborhood.

Then, when I was 20, I became a diving instructor as I was completely in love with scuba diving (and still am).  I wanted to transmit my love for this amazing activity to the greatest number of people I could. And teaching was a great way to do so.

After that, when I arrived in Vancouver in 2016, I started my business of teaching French classes online and on-site. I could see there was a big love for the French culture on the West Coast, and it was quite inspiring to help lead and support that. Continue reading

The Power of the Voice- Interview with Spencer Welch- Master Vocal Instructor

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Where were you born and brought up?

I was born in Ferney, in the Kootenays, BC. A year later, we moved to Calgary. And when I was five, we moved to Mexico.

Oh, that’s how you know Spanish.

Yeah. I grew up in Mexico in a small little city of two million people called Puebla. It’s about two hours outside of Mexico City. I lived there from age five to sixteen.

Did you grow up in a musical family?

Well, sort of. My grandpa and grandma on my dad’s side both played instruments and sang. And my dad sings beautifully and plays the piano and guitar all by ear. He has no idea which notes he is playing. He can only play the piano in about four or five keys. And they’re actually the really difficult keys. From very early on, my dad would bring a bunch of vinyl records home and would play all this music for me. He had a stereo with huge speakers and he would crank it as loud as he could. The windows would start shaking from the trumpets and the canons going off.

Haha! That is awesome.

Yeah, so it wasn’t like there were highly trained musicians in the family surrounding me. But there was all of this music in the house. Also, my friends that I was surrounded by were very good musicians. I remember being in bands from when I was 9 or 10 years old. Continue reading

Interview with Anya Grace- on Diving Deep, Surrender, and Freedom

When I first heard Anya Grace speak on YouTube, I felt her authenticity and passion come through right away. She was sharing her insights on the dynamics between men and women in a way that really impacted my view of relationships- not just the romantic kind, but also relationships with friends and family, with our surroundings, but especially with ourselves.

I then listened to a series of ten interviews she conducted with coaches and speakers who shared their expertise on various subjects around love, healing, abundance, the power of our beliefs, and manifestation. I was blown away by the profound knowledge and vulnerability imparted in those interviews. I thought “Others need to hear this!”

I couldn’t help but to reach out to ask Anya to share more of her wisdom with the Dance Me Free community. It is an honor to feature Anya Grace, spiritual mentor and feminine energy coach, in this interview below. 

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I was really impressed by the interviews from your Elevated Woman series.  What values do you think all the speakers you chose shared? They seemed have a connection in their messages.

I think what you’re feeling is my intention of diving deeper in the interviews. Part of our power and beauty as women is really in our depth – the deeper feelings, the deeper insights, the deeper wisdom we hold.

We’re living in a culture and society where things are very superficial. The superficial exterior has been what’s valued. But that’s only about ten percent of our power as women. I want women to understand, and tap into, the other ninety percent. Once we start going into that ninety percent, we really unplug from the masculine paradigm that’s draining our power.

Why is this important?

When you have that intention, as an individual, to open to that depth within yourself, and you unapologetically bring that depth into your relationships and conversations, other people will go there. I always say that the Elevated Woman is an activator and initiator for higher potential on the planet. Part of that higher potential is this depth- going deeper, really connecting at a heart level, not just a superficial mental level. And that’s when we really access feminine power. Continue reading