Dance is not just for extroverts. Music is the universal language, and there is not a culture in existence that does not openly love dance in some form or another. It has always been a natural human behaviour; it is instinctual even for babies, as well as some animals and insects.
Dancing is therapy; it is healing. I’m not referring to what happens on a nightclub dance floor. Most people wouldn’t think about dancing if it wasn’t in a bar with a beer in one hand. Surely it would be better to experience uninhibited release in a clear-headed way, without the hazy, sore head the next day? The kind of healing I’m referring to comes from the connection to source that is experienced when we really let go, immersing ourselves fully into the music and the moment without so much as a nod to the idea of appearance or the perspectives of others.
We need to return to wildness
Wildness is the key. We have become so domesticated within the confines of our so-called ‘civilized’ culture that we have forgotten how to simply let go. The majority of our daily experiences are contrived and inorganic, and it has become normal seek out escape in unhealthy ways, through alcohol and entertainment.
When you decide to do this in a healthy way, it’s completely different. If you make your intention to reconnect to yourself, it isn’t so difficult. We are used to looking in the mirror and criticizing what we see. This is because we have forgotten what we are. If you were to dance in the mirror, your first thoughts might be about your appearance, whether positive or negative. Look beyond this. It’s not about the shape of your body, or how great your dance moves are.
When you hear the kind of music that touches the soul, there is a sense of liberation and connectedness. Try dancing in the mirror, once you feel this freeing sensation. It’s not often that we stare into the pupils of our own eyes, the way we do when we fall in love with another. Animals do it, and babies do it; they stare into our eyes, their own unmoving and uninhibited. What is it we are all looking for when we do that? We don’t know, because it’s instinctual… but that captivating space within the eye of another is the same one present within yourself.
Dance is where the heart has dominion
When you meet your own gaze as you dance, you catch a glimpse of the abyss…. the void. It is a little like peering at a fractal, where there is no obvious beginning or end. The mind isn’t really needed when you dance; this is the territory of the heart. What you suddenly see when your nagging, pestering ‘mind’ ebbs away, is that which motivated you to dance in the first place; that which gave your limbs the coordination, your body the energy to move; that which inspires to put it into words. It is not the everyday ‘me’ that I see when I do this. It is the same me that is also the true you.
The moment this is realised, that being dancing in the mirror transforms. The egoic version of ‘I’ transforms into a being that recognises itself as much more than a dancer. Nor is it only celebrating; it is celebration itself. That which I celebrate has the same origin as that which I am. At that moment, I am not only celebration, but profound and innate gratitude
On a physical level, dance compels you to shake off your negativity, release your energetic blockages, loosen your muscles, burn off a shed-load of calories and sweat out some toxins. It teaches you to get in tune with your body, and hear what it is trying to tell you. It doesn’t want to be inert - it wants to express; to ‘remind your mind’ that it is alive. It releases endorphins into the blood-stream, making you feel high. It is fun!
Dance is presence and creation at the same time
More than anything, it keeps you in the present moment, instead of endlessly striving to make sure tomorrow is perfect or obsessing about what went wrong yesterday. It invites you on a journey into yourself, into your emotions and passions. Dance is a brilliant method of manifesting desires. Your emotions are creative, they inspire your imagination (or visualisation) and in that moment it is easy to feel the power that you are. Afterwards, it calms you. It is meditation.
In a group setting, dancing in is so therapeutic – the unspoken connections and joy that are shared are tangible. It is really something to experience the freedom within the group atmosphere.
When plant medicines are involved, the mind can be as receptive as the heart. Inhibitions have less of a hold, and the feeling of total freedom and oneness can be immense. Huachuma in particular is often felt as an energizing, heart-opening medicine; when combined with dance, the feeling is indescribable. It is difficult to remain the same after a celebratory huachuma experience.
The point is that life can be a celebration. Yes, there may be undesirable things happening in our lives and in the world. Does that mean we should remain permanently worried and serious? That we should never give ourselves a break from such thoughts? Why not use your endless supply of creative energy in this way, once in a while? You may just find that you are inspired to make the world a better place. I know that this is what played a big part in inspiring me.
Dance is freedom.
Check out Magnetic Movement dance sessions here.