Truly dear, because you are. What you are about to explore is the heart of someone who has come alive and how that has been such a process. It is still an ongoing process but here is a snapshot of what has happened in my life through an art that is most close to my heart. Dance. Some of this description is poetic, some is thought provoking, some is informative, and some is just real. My hope is that you enjoy it all.
Dance enables you to find yourself and lose yourself all at the same time.
I love who I am when I dance because it requires every part of me to truly connect with God and with life. When things in my life are going crazy or I need to take a step back and engage my heart instead of my mind, let go, and be free; I dance. There’s so much that makes sense about it on the inside. A combination of rhythm, structure, freedom, depth, symbolism, expression, and communication all having to do with how you move your body and what you want to express to your audience. Sometimes it’s just God. Sometimes it’s hundreds of people. When you get to dance with someone connection and trust matter. There is so much that can happen in my heart when in dance.
When I dance I cannot judge, I cannot hate, I cannot separate myself from life, I can only be joyful and whole. That is why I love dance.
I’ve always had a lot of energy, and a particular knack for intensity. While this can be awesome, it can also be inconvenient as there are relatively few creative outlets that facilitate both.
The exception is dance.
I only plan sometimes. Whether it’s anger, or fear, or pain, or joy, or truth, or justice, or any pattern of all of them – dance is as beautiful, raw, and uncut as life itself. At times it’s rehearsed and drilled to the point where you couldn’t forget it even if you wanted to. This is useful for cause oriented pieces when you want to communicate what is going on in the world, and inspire people to face it head on.
Other times it’s so wonderfully spontaneous and somehow everything just falls into place. When I truly release to God, I truly come alive, I truly dance. Catching symbolic shadows, catching joy, catching life from the inside out. If the eyes are the window to the soul, then dance is the live action movie for me. When I allow myself to be truly vulnerable in it, it directly represents the inside of my life. As all art, it will always be up to interpretation to all but it is the artist who knows exactly why they are doing what they are doing if not in the moment then at least eventually.
In dance, as in life, grace glides on blistered feet.
I need to dance. Injuries limit my expression, and so I’m willing to do whatever it takes to heal. When I put off the healing that comes with physical therapy or even simple rest it’s symbolic of my need to listen from the inside out. God speaks that I’m worth it. I’m worth the healing of my body, and I’m worth the joy when I get when I am fully able to dance with every part of me. Always believing this is hard, but I know it’s the truth. All of us can relate to the challenge of choosing to believe the truth, but the real difficulty is believing we won’t regret it.
And we dance…
Dance connects people around the world in ways that is unique to its craft. If you learn the dance of a culture you learn the culture itself and connect with its people. And the people are amazing. Dance has the beautiful potential to bring people and cultures together.
All she wants to do is dance!
I have no desire to ever abandon dance. It’s a personal goal to be the grandma that can still get down whenever she wants. Personal goals like this are a challenge because it’s often easier to suppress your desires as an artist out of fear, rather then pursue them. All the what if’s start going when you think of really committing to the next level. This is exactly what makes it worth it when you do.
My challenge is for you to find your “dance.” It may or may not be actual movement of your body to music that you believe in but there is something for and in everyone that is that thing that makes you most alive. Pursue it. Wrestle with it. Grab and let it be used to turn you into even more of who you truly are. For me it’s dance. For you it could be writing, art, construction, engineering, or music. Whatever it is that makes you come alive. Use it.