It is now 11 years since I first stepped into the Dance arena, I was reminded of this today when my dear friend Monica Nataraj (someone who I see seldomly but is ever present in my heart) sent me something that I am working with and that is finding some love and compassion for myself. My life has been one of deep transformation. Monica was the first person who helped me to see that Dance is an extraordinary part of life, That life is a beautiful Dance, and those who dance live life differently ( not worse or better ) just differently.
What is interesting for me is that through these deep ongoing movements, there are still many patterns of care-taking and lack of care for myself that I am often in a struggle with. I find it much easier to engage with others to support them and make a commitment to meeting them for say meditation, but when I know I would like to do this for myself and there is no-one around I often welch on myself and give up. Just at this point of giving up, there could be a moment when I think I could ask for help, get support, reach out to the amazing people I know, that would support me if I would just have the courage to just ask.
There is an exercise in Biodanza, where we do just that, a generative posture for asking, it is no wonder to me that I find this one so hard to do. In my training, I found this excruciating, and so the journey never ends, I keep showing up with all my foibles.
It is my 60th birthday soon, and I had never danced until I was in my late 40's, I had this story that I was too big to dance. Makes me smile when I think of how I throw myself around the dance floor now. But Dance has been so much more than this for me, it has brought me completely into my body sensations in a way that I never thought possible, it has helped me connect, lean on others ( even though I still find this very hard ). It helps me stay present in each moment, the body is such a truthful barometer, nothing can be hidden when we give ourselves to Dance.
I hope you dance, it really is never to late, from humble beginnings to teaching, to absorbing, to loving the people who I dance with regularly, to the most profound friendships I have made on this journey. Learning is in every moment of dance, no matter what modality it is, everyone will benefit from a bit of music and some dance. It changed how I felt, what I thought, it tenderised me, made me more honest, more open. more loving and less judgemental.
Photograph by Hanna Jacobs