What’s in it for me?
I was thinking about a topic I want to touch upon here in my Femme! blog the other day. One question popped into my head and captured my attention for a few moments.
I was wondering why I am so deeply attracted to tribal dance. What’s in it for me? What magnetizes me to it? Why am I so passionate about it?
Being Ukrainian-born, why am I not interested in the traditional dances of my culture, which also have a long history, profound meaning, and rich tradition? One of the traditional Ukrainian dances that comes to mind is gopak. The knights called Cossacks, who lived in what is now the territory of Ukraine, used this dance as a warm-up before their main martial arts routine. During this dancelike warm-up, the Cossacks practiced their unique fighting moves and elements – lightning speed, powerful blows, remarkable endurance, and exceptional tactics.
Despite the profound cultural and spiritual meaning behind traditional Ukrainian dances, I still find myself more drawn to the tribal dances of Africa. I don’t know much about a great variety of African tribal dances, but I find myself drawn to dances accompanied by djembe drum.
I love how the beat of the drum sends shivers and vibrations throughout my body - it feels like a massage. I enjoy the wild, free movement that connects me deeply to myself and brings about my true feelings and emotions. I love the trance state I get into as a result of the movement and music of the drum. It unleashes the wildness, the raw animalistic power inside me and I love it. For me, this dance is the moment when I get to be the Oksana, whom I don’t usually show to people. It’s the time for me to celebrate myself and give space to all of me.
As the drum plays and as my body moves, I love feeling a pleasurable stretch of my muscles, a sweet lubrication of my joints, and feeling how the dance, the movement, and live music soothe and lull my nervous system.
I’m bringing this blog post to a close and I feel overwhelmed by the sweet gratitude to the djembe drum and to my body, that help me create one-of-a-kind experiences every single time.
I can move.
I can dance.
I can live with joy and passion.
What else is there to ask for?
Express your emotions through movement when you cannot find words to describe how you feel.