I’m a big advocate of free movement. HUGE! Why? Because as we become adults, get educated, take on ever increasing responsibilities, and become increasingly rational and mature, we often ignore or forget the essence of who we are and the very things in life that “juice us” and make our hearts sing. A surprising number of massage clients I see echo this truth. They lament about how busy they are, how they don’t feel joy, and how they are numbly “living on autopilot”. Or they share that they have achieved everything they wanted in their lives but feel that something deeper is missing. We can actively dismiss opening up to play and dance as acting immature. We can also become uncomfortable with others who display an openness to connecting with that deeper, whimsical part of themselves, which is unfortunate.
A friend of mine attended an event a few years ago that included an opportunity to dance. She shared with me that someone in her group had remarked that no one over 40 years old should dance in public. As a 40-something year old at the time, I was dismayed! I recalled an experience I had had at a concert a few years prior. Taj Mahal was the headliner and he was GOOOOOD!!! I had wanted to dance with the mass of people who had collected in front of the stage and were clearly enjoying the music; they were so delightful to watch and the energy they whipped up was intoxicating! But something stopped me. I feared dancing with the crowd; I didn’t want to be judged (or to judge myself). I also had a friend at that concert who said that no one over the age of 35 should dance. I was stunned. And I remained seated as an increasing sense of sadness engulf me. As I shared my experience with my friend, I also said that I could only imagine how someone who might have wanted to dance at my friend’s event didn’t because of her friend’s insensitive, rude comment.
Free conscious movement is important to me because dancing is a way of expressing myself in ways that are full, open, expansive, raw, and honest. The participants I facilitate in dance often leave my classes feeling joyful, playful, and even a bit more sassy and daring! Some even work through life and emotional challenges while dancing. Dancing is more than just physical movement; it can be the catalyst for emotional and spiritual shifts as well. There are few things more exhilarating, freeing, challenging (in a good way), and enlivening than whirling, stretching, contracting, exploding, stomping, shaking, and gliding in playful dance around a dance floor (or kitchen, or outdoor space…)!
Think back to when you were five years old. Did you care about how you looked when you listened to music you liked? Did you fret over getting your dance steps right? Did you stop to question whether your dancing was “appropriate” for your age? Or did you just get out there and dive into pure sensation? Guess what? You don’t grow out of that desire to express yourself in movement. It’s still there! It’s just waiting for you to notice it again.
This is what I love about children. They possess an inherent wisdom; they know we are meant to move in joyful ways. They are also wonderful little energetic beings who haven’t forced themselves into stillness as we adults have; that simply isn’t their nature. Dancing helps us to ground and center ourselves, and helps us maintain our vitality. It helps us to tap into our creativity, our imagination, and our natural ability to relax and be open. It challenges us to bump up against our edges of resistance as well. And it helps us to problem solve because movement stimulates intellectual and emotional openness.
When I move, there is a point where I stop being the dancer and become the dance. I am so immersed in movement and feeling that I am no longer thinking. My dance becomes my thoughts and my expression. I dance my happiness, my sadness, my anger and my fear. I dance my hopes and my dreams. I dance my longings and disappointments. I dance my desires and my connection with space and community. I dance my gratitude that I can feel myself and feel my life fully! I just leave it on the floor. And in so doing, I learn more and more about who I am and love the ME that is evolving. I’m more willing to be vulnerable and am more accepting of my imperfections. I’m even speaking up more and am feeling more comfortable with what I have to say, with no apologies. I’m also much more open to seeing and experiencing all that is possible in my life. THAT is what the gift and power of dance has given me!
Martha Graham once said, “Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are not great because of their technique; they are great because of their passion.” Tell it, Martha!!! We all carry our own unique, beautiful representation of that passion within us. I am proud and grateful to bring that message to my community. I invite you to connect with, and fall in love with yourself through dance; in all of your beautiful freedom, your awkward grace, and your perfect imperfection.
Contact Natalie at:
www.HolisticHealingSpace.com | Natalie@HolisticHealingSpace.com | 303 325 4150