“El que canta y baila su mal espanta.”
(translation: he who sings and dances scares off misfortune).
When I think back to how I created the name Dance Me Free©, I can’t help but to smile. It wasn’t planned or strategically worked out. I didn’t even realize until much later that the idea may have come from me subconsciously taking in the album title of one of my favourite singers- Joss Stone- and connecting it to the idea of dance. Joss Stone’s album was called Colour Me Free.
Little did I know that this link I had made between dance and singing back then would actually grow into a link that would come alive in my own life, in my own experiences, and become a new passion of mine. I even used the quote above in my very first article on Dance Me Free- Salsa as Medicine– the article that described my story of how I first came to realize the healing powers of dance. I was in complete admiration of singer songwriters like Joss Stone at that time. But I thought singing was so far from “me” and that it was only meant for a select few. I was sure I was not one of them. The quote just happened to have both singing and dancing in it. But I was definitely not singing at all at the time.
It never occurred to me that I could sing. In fact, for various reasons, including other people’s opinions or comments that I now see I shouldn’t have taken on board, I thought I was tone deaf. couldn’t hold a note, and just didn’t have what it took to be a singer. I didn’t even like my speaking voice, let alone trying to sing. And I just had this overall shy personality that didn’t seem to fit what I thought of when the image of a singer came to my mind.
But through a series of what I realize now were not so random events, I was led to a singing lesson that had me hooked form day one. It was not because I proved to be a brilliant singer from the start. Far from it. But I started seeing so many links between singing and dance, including the power of singing to inspire, build confidence and heal. And I wanted to learn more. I wanted to try this art that I thought for all my life “was not me.”
I started seeing that just as with dance, singing can be learned, and developed, with the right teacher. And I was lucky enough to find these teachers. I was also becoming aware of how singing can give voice not just to our vocal chords and mouths, but to our individuality, to our hearts and spirits.
“Sound proves one of the major sources of brain stimulus by which dynamic mental vitality is maintained. Vocal sounds directly resonate through the skull, chest, and body. Our personally produced resonances can charge and revitalize our body and brain.”- Joseph C. Pearce- The Bond of Power
I saw more and more parallels between dancing and singing, but could also see how they each had their differences too. And together, they have helped me grow as a person, find peace, depth and further dimension into so many aspects of my life.
And I knew I had to include this in my dancing journey, in Dance Me Free’s posts and pages. Although Dance Me Free centers around Dance and movement, this site also uses dance as a metaphor for other healing arts and passions of the soul. And I believe everyone can find their own “dance”, whatever that may be. I never thought I would say this, but singing has become one of mine.
So besides continuing to share articles about dance, Dance Me Free will also be sharing articles, interviews, videos and quotes that highlight the expressive “voice” that comes through dance, as well as the beautiful “dance” that I have experienced coming through our voices. I believe they are both intertwined. And I am so grateful to get the chance to explore and intermingle both disciplines. And I am excited to share my insights into these links with you.
“Inside my voice there is a soul, and in my soul there is a voice.”
– India Arie in Strength, Courage and Wisdom
Stay tuned for more Sing Me Free © posts coming soon.