A DANCER BY NATURE
I have a vague memory of my very first dance class.
I was about 4 years old when my mom took my sister and me to a dance class. One thing that I vividly remember was that we were walking in a circle. Another thing that I remember quite clearly was that I didn’t like that class. We left the class before it ended. My mom never took us to any other dance class and I myself wasn’t interested in taking dance classes for a long time until I was 23. At that time I was living in the Netherlands and salsa was the most popular dance class there so I signed up for level 1. That was it. I didn’t progress further in my salsa training.
Another dance class that I took was pole dance. It was in China and the instructor didn’t speak any English, so I was learning merely from copying her moves) I loved pole dance anyway and when I moved to Canada, I found an amazing studio Brass Butterflies and took a few classes there. With an English-speaking instructor I discovered that I’m not that hopeless in pole dancing).
Rather a short overview of my dance training journey, isn’t it?
People often ask me if I am a dancer.
No was my usual answer to this question but now I am thinking about changing my response.
I’m not a professional dancer by training but I’m a professional dancer by nature.
Oh yes I am!
Even though I disliked the dance class my mom took me to when I was 4, I continued dancing at home to songs they were playing on the radio all the way until …. now. I still do it) Just give me a tune, put on a beat – my body swings me into movement instantly.
In my life I tend to be rather shy around people but the moment I start to dance there’s some magic switch happening. I turn into a totally different persona. I feel confident, playful, daring, flirtatious, unfiltered. I feel my full self when I dance and I love to experience this transformation. It always enchants me
And I don’t need to read a scientific study to know that one of the ways to happiness and satisfaction is movement, especially when it’s real, genuine, when it comes from your heart.
Dance is an excellent therapeutic resource – it heals the body, the mind and the spirit at the same time. When we dance freely, we are shaking up both physical and emotional tension in our body, we are keeping the levels of dopamine high, which brings about the feelings of comfort, relaxation, fun and power. I guess this would be the explanation of the magic switch that happens inside me when I dance) Either we stay in the grips of anxiety, hopelessness, fatigue, demotivation, pain, mood swings or we float into a euphoric state is under our control. Just gotta do it!
Swing into an impromptu dance in your kitchen and offer your body a deep muscle relaxation through carefree movement. Feel how your muscles relax to the music releasing the tension built up during the day, especially the one accumulated in the deepest part of the musculature. As I’m typing this, I feel my body craving for one of those slow, sumptuous stretches we do at the opening stage of Femme! dance class. Mmm! Just that is already more than enough for the endorphins to flow in a rushing river through your body and infuse you with peaceful joy and lightness.
Dr Peter Lovatt expressed an interesting thought about dance and creativity, which showcases that the effect of dancing is much more beneficial and profound than we might think:
‘Creativity also gets a boost from dancing because of the three key elements. First, it raises the heart rate and gets the blood pumping; second, it changes the way we move; third, it changes our relationship with our physical surrounding. These three elements can activate our cognitive pathways to change the way we think, solve problems and take risks, as well as enhance spatial awareness and mental agility.’
I know you are a professional dancer by nature too. I’m calling you out on the dance floor. Let’s show off our art of not giving a fuck of what others think of us, let’s flaunt our enjoyment of the movement, let’s get high on the playfulness, the freedom and the joy we get to feel when we dance.
We meet on the dance floor at the next Femme! dance class!
Express your emotions through movement when you cannot find words to describe how you feel.