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