So you think you can dance?
The lure of dance is big in the US and around the world at the moment given the pandemic and our enclosed lives. Many tune in to watch the proliferation of dance television shows exploiting the often incredible talents of young and old alike. “World of Dance”, “Dancing with the Stars”, “So you think you can dance”, “Dance Moms”, not to mention the proliferation of Tiktok dance posts that have reunited the universe with a click of a the thumb entertaining the masses. More than a few recline at home, living vicariously through a myriad of devices, while secretly wishing to dust off their shoes and give it a whirl.
As seen on the various screens, the range of dance styles are vast; salsa to jazz, modern to samba, ballroom to hiphop. The dizzying difficulty, sheer agility and memorization needed to participate in these dances leave most of us a bit inhibited. It all may seem too much to fathom and quite intimidating to actually get onto a dance floor. We may even believe we have two "left feet" from a previous traumatic dance story we still cling to.
There are, however, dance modalities for those reticent and longing souls, as well as a host of very beneficial reasons to step on the the dance floor. Biodanza is a prime example of a somatic modality that anyone can do. Sometimes referred to as experimental dance movement or “conscious dance”, this is a world where there are no dance routines to remember. It is, ironically, the unconscious that we seek to tap into when doing Biodanza! But that’s another article.
Nothing is choreographed in Biodanza; rather dancing becomes the purest of personal expression through authentic movement. There are no age requirements, no fancy clothes, and generally, no shoes at all. This is a dance that is yours, directed solely on feedback from what your body wants or needs to do when the music awakens it. Children and even full families come and dance together to connect using the Biodanza system. People in wheelchairs or with other bodily arguments will also come, as an authentic dance class is for everyone!
Experiential dance is without rules unlike the complicated dance moves of the shows. If you dance wantonly by yourself, you are a leader of the movement…your own flow. There are many modalities where the goal is purely to dance it out. It feels good, then you go home.
Biodanza is, however, an organized system of rehabilitation for the body, mind and spirit that is facilitated in a group setting. Most important, are the “why’s” to dance in a Biodanza group, and they are many.
Beyond the quiet yearnings as you watch the dance shows each week, you should know that dance, like rigorous exercise of any kind, will automatically make you feel better. Your cells will be dancing as endorphins kick in and cortisol levels reduce, taming stress in your life. Chronic stress, left unattended, will eventually compromise your immune system, leading to illness and dis-ease. On the other hand, dances of joy and vitality will leave you energized, cellularly happy and will also help you to sleep better at night. If anyone asks, you can say you are actually dancing towards good health!
Dance can teach us so much. Dancing alone generates a strong sense of self knowing and acceptance. Dancing with a partner builds and nurtures our potential for affective connections. Connecting to others through non verbal gesture links us to the fabric of life and increases our communicative styles. There is a profound healing in the power of the group. Moreover, over 70% of communication is non-verbal and developing these skills can be rewarding and life affirming resulting in positive feelings for you and those around you.
Perhaps, most significantly, the weekly practice of Biodanza just may lead you to happiness. This authentic dance movement induces moments of exuberance that are expressed with the body, heartfelt emotion set to marvelous music.
A weekly practice within the safe space of a group of dancers will guide you to reconnect to a whole-body sense of joy. Studies show that this may just help create a more permanent link to that state. And isn’t happiness that elusive state we all strive for?
Besides, as director of you own reality show, you’ll be in the spotlight every week, as you dance in your joy and vitality. And maybe up to making a Tiktok or two!
Biodanza is available to you in the comfort of your own home, at the moment during the pandemic. Join a new introduction 5 week series happening Wednesday evenings 7:30 to 9pm eastern beginning March 3rd 2021. This series is for those new to Biodanza ages 18 to 80+. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out www.biodanzausa.com for more info
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