Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are great because of their passion.
~ Martha Graham
Everything in the universe has rhythm. Everything dances.
~ Maya Angelou
When was the last time you danced? Is it something you do often? I don’t think I do it often enough. It’s been almost a month since I last danced. I read a couple of things this morning that reminded me I should dance regularly. Daily. Maybe even twice daily. Dance is good for the soul.
I’ve heard or read that dance is considered the song of the body. The poets and mystics and many other wise folk have all invited us to dance. Hafiz suggested you “cast all your votes for Dancing!”
This morning, after a long bike ride, I started to do my yoga practice, but felt too tired (and sweaty because it is hot and sticky sauna outside) to do it. I rested a bit, and while I was resting, my brain remembered that within my collection of yoga and exercise DVD’s there is one called Yoga Dance Trance (with Shiva Rea), and my body was happy that my brain remembered this because dance was something I felt I could do.
I popped in the DVD, and I danced. They say to dance like no one is watching, and I think that is very good advice. However, even when I’m home alone I tend to dance as if the world is watching. I have moments when I relax into it, when everything drops away and only the dance exists. Those moments rarely last long, and like all relaxing moments, the harder I try to get it back, the tenser I become. Relaxation doesn’t come with force.
Henry Miller wrote:
The art of living is based on rhythm — on give and take, ebb and flow, light and dark, life and death. By acceptance of all aspects of life, good and bad, right and wrong, yours and mine, the static, defensive life, which is what most people are cursed with, is converted into a dance, ‘the dance of life,’ metamorphosis. One can dance to sorrow or to joy; one can even dance abstractly. But the point is that, by the mere act of dancing, the elements which compose it are transformed; the dance is an end in itself, just like life. The acceptance of the situation, any situation, brings about a flow, a rhythmic impulse towards self-expression. To relax is, of course, is the first thing a dancer has to learn. It is also the first thing a patient has to learn when he confronts the analyst. It is the first thing any one has to learn in order to live. It is extremely difficult, because it means surrender, full surrender.
There it is. The secret to dancing. Full surrender. So that’s what I did. Eventually. I listened to the music, swaying, shifting, and then finally, full out dancing. All of my self-consciousness fell away. It felt good to be free of that burden. I wonder why I carry it around with me.
My body, like most bodies, enjoys movement. That’s why I walk and cycle and practice yoga. Movement is a way of expressing joy, of connecting the body back to the mind and the soul. And dance, I think, is the ultimate celebration of joy, life, our bodies, and our spirits.
Join me if you like. A little dance to celebrate the day or the season or the moment.
The groove is so mysterious. We’re born with it and we lose it and the world seems to split apart before our eyes into stupid and cool. When we get it back, the world unifies around us, and both stupid and cool fall away.
I am grateful to those who are keepers of the groove. The babies and the grandmas who hang on to it and help us remember when we forget that any kind of dancing is better than no dancing at all.
~ Lynda Barry, One Hundred Demons
14 thoughts on “Relaxing into the dance”
I work out almost every day, but thank you for the reminder to dance more often. I danced so much at our daughter’s wedding, and it was great. I do Zumba sometimes, but the instructor I really like at my gym had to give up her class. I will have to remember to dance around in my kitchen more often. 🙂
Great quotes and photos, too.
Thank you, Merril. 🙂 I’ve never tried Zumba. It looks like a lot of fun. Dancing around the kitchen is fun, too.
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<3<3<3!! (trying to find different ways to express my love of your photos) 🙂
I should dance more. I used to dance a lot before I was married, then I married a guy that well…you know. 😉 Sometimes I put on a CD, but not often enough. Maybe I should change that. Coming into the cold months, I don’t get out as much, so the exercise would be good.
My guy doesn’t dance either, Eliza. Or not much. He’s very self-conscious about it. Between the two of us, we have self-conscious very well covered. lol! Thank you for the love. 😀 I feel the same way about your photos.
You have a lovely blog, Robin. The pictures are lovely and the tone is almost conversational and very welcoming.
Thank you so much, Skip. 🙂
Beautiful thoughts, beautifully expressed. In particular I like the leaf picture and the goldenrod and sweet gum picture. I dance often around my apartment, usually because something strikes me on the radio. The song goes “you got to sing, like you don’t need the money, love like you’ll never get hurt, dance like nobody’s watching–it’s got to come from the heart if you want it to work.” Here’s Garnet Rogers, who wrote it–singing it at an interview back in 1992: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_vXsnke8DM
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Thanks for sharing that Lisa – I had not heard of this man before and it was really good to hear the words in context!
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Thank you, Lisa, especially for the music. I really enjoyed it, and didn’t know where that saying originated. 🙂
A wonderful, wonderful reminder to us all Robin – thank you!
I used to dance with Orlando very often, before Siddy came. O is a cat who likes to dance! He has his particular favourites and so I would often have music going and we would boogie ….. I would boogie and he would be carried about making pleased sort of harrumphings and gurglings and purrs………… When Siddy came O retired to the top of the fridge and no more dancing was done. Siddy is learning to dance for treats, but that is not the same as boogying to great music is it? Now that O is down on the floor once more, maybe we might resume dancing again…… Your post makes me think we must!!
Thank you, Pauline. 🙂 And I do hope you and O have been dancing again.
I don’t dance. I nod my head and tap my toes to music…no dancing though. Maybe I should try zumba.
I would like to try Zumba, too, Dawn. 🙂