I love to dance. There’s something that happens when I hear music that causes a soul-stirring reaction.
I love movement. I love the expression of emotions through movement. I love how beats and rhythms and lyrics come to life in a physical form that is dance.
I am not a gifted dancer. I define gifts as those things that are like breathing, those things that you don’t even have to think about that just flow from you. Dance was not something that came naturally to me. Anyone who knows me from childhood knows that I wasn’t the most coordinated person. Truth be told, I was quite awkward. I discovered dance through my experience as a cheerleader in middle school and high school. I switched over to just dance when I got to college. Dance saved me from myself. When I was a junior in college and in the midst of my second major depressive episode, dance was the only thing that kept me from killing myself.
I am a passionate dancer. Passions are those things that can be cultivated. I see as many dance companies perform as money and time allow. I secretly want to be a member of a Salsa dance troupe and envision the costumes, music and pure joy that would follow. As I’ve gotten older and my passion for dance has been realized, I seek out classes and troupes and studios that would allow me to hone my skills. I’ve taken ballet, jazz, modern, hip-hop, Latin and pole classes. Yes, pole classes. (For more about my experience with pole dancing, click here. It was seriously the most liberating experience of my life!) I have stretched and strengthened muscles I didn’t know I had. I’ve gone from being a terribly awkward girl who was not comfortable in her own skin to a woman who fully embraces her body and sees it as a gift from God. Dance has connected me to my soul and to the Divine.
Dance continues to be one of the best forms of therapy that I experience. I recently moved and while things have largely gone well, I have had some rough times during this transition. Once I found a therapist, I realized that I needed to find a dance class. I signed up for Salsa lessons and am ecstatic that it works with my schedule. There is clearly a link between exercise and dealing with depression and every time I attend a dance class I am reminded of it’s importance. However, the what I’m learning goes beyond the physical. I am gaining life lessons from this passion of mine and am so grateful.
What things/hobbies/activities serve as therapy for you and teach you life lessons?