Dance has influenced the decisions I make, the places I go, the people I meet, the perceptions I have about life, the values I cherish the most, my awareness of myself as a body and a soul, as well as how I interact with others and the world around me.
Someone recently asked me why I dance, and the first thought that came to my mind was, ironically, NOT thinking. Dance, as I explained to this person, is one of the first places I learned not to lead (or follow) with thinking, but to feel. With Dance, I shut off my brain, and engage, or turn on, my senses. This is huge for someone who is constantly thinking and processing and analyzing like myself. And wow, what it has done for my writing. As a writer, I need to be much more in touch with my senses, and to be able to capture moments when my senses are really heightened. Dance makes me much more aware of those moments and plants the images of them deep within my memory.
“The way I got into dance was through watching movies and TV shows. I’d see all the mainstream dancing and I thought it was really cool. So I started dancing and training. And sure, it sucks sometimes when I make plans with my friends from school and then I remember I can’t hang out with them because I have dance practice. But then, once I come to dance, well, I kind of forget about those other plans because dance is so much fun.
The feeling I get from dancing, well, I can’t really explain it. It’s always different. I could be happy, I could be sad. But each time I dance, it makes me feel really good about myself. It just makes my day. And in our crew, we get to share that feeling with each other, as a family. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it. Because even though we’ve reached a high level, there are others out there who are better than us. And we don’t want to just stay at the same level. We want to get better too and be good role models. ”
– Justin Nicolas – Age 15- member of The Freshh Crew
“Dance and Hip Hop have been my constant saving graces. Dance is the best way I can communicate. Hip Hop is the language that my soul speaks. The marriage of the two on the dance floor is where I feel most “myself”.
In my recent exploration of expressive art therapy, I have discovered even more about dance and movement and its ability to heal. Before I even knew what this therapy was, I was already doing it, without even realizing it. Spending countless hours alone in the studio in my own thoughts, I was expressing- through dance- what I cannot say in words.
The dance floor is my diary, my confessional, my haven.”
– Joan de los Reyes
“Dance- there are so many strengths to it, beyond the superficial, that people don’t know about. I think that dance is such an internal thing. I think it feeds the soul in such a way that it stems from this passion but also from our experiences. And the things that we’ve gone through, the things that we have on our minds, are pushed out and energized into the world through a movement. Sometimes I watch people perform, and you can tell they’ve really BEEN somewhere. And I don’t know where that somewhere is, and I don’t always NEED to know where that somewhere is. But you connect to those people because you can see how much their dancing is driven by something really deep and rich and powerful.”
– Marc Kimelman
(from her song Right to Be Wrong)
There could be so many things that Joss Stone is referring to here, but I’d like to say that it’s a perfect description of what a good dance, no, a great dance, makes me feel. I just had a few recently, after a very long time of being without that feeling. And even though it’s been a few days, the memory of them still makes me feel like I’m flying.
“Chaotic, kizomba may seem to the spectator, just like the Chaos Theory is to those who don’t understand life’s intricate connection. Chaos is the domain where instability is the rule, the absence of predictable patterns and connections. But the elements of existence, things that some people view as chaos actually follow the inconspicuous laws of the universe…the function of music, in this case kizomba is to release us from the tyranny of conscious thought, to release the self, the seemingly isolated solid individual into the connective vibration of the heart. Dancing kizomba with the feet might be magnificent, but dancing with the heart is an enlightening spiritual experience.