Hold me closer tiny dancer...
Updated: Apr 30, 2020
So it's the International Dance Day today and the exhibitionist that I am, I wanted to record a lovely dance video for you dear people, but.... it didn't really work ;) I was too tired, not really "in the mood", rushing for a call.. so instead of a full video you get a short clip and some photos of... me giving myself an opportunity to get into my body and into the pleasure of free movement..
I've always danced. When I was a little girl one of my favorite things to do was to put on that one specific vinyl record with piano music and just dance around my apartment with wild abandon, playing out different dramatic stories and characters. My parents who saw my passion took me to a ballet class. I never went back after the first lesson because I was ashamed of my body which did not look like any of the other bodies in that room. That was the moment I decided I wasn't nor ever could be a dancer because I didn't have a "dancer's body." But I loved dancing so I dabbled in ballroom dance, some salsa, but ultimately what I always loved the most was to just freely express emotion through my body, without constraints of specific choreography. To simply allow my body enough freedom to move without an agenda. But sadly, for most of my life there has always been an agenda to movement: losing weight. And when movement becomes a punishment and a forced activity to achieve the impossible, the simple joy and pleasure evaporates… No wonder I got a bit lost in partying where with some help of alcohol or drugs I did not care so much how my body looked and I could just completely let my repressed animal go as wild as she pleased, and sometimes even be admired for it. When partying went on pause because of pregnancy and early motherhood, a new journey of movement began. When as an adult I first started experimenting with the kind of free movement I enjoyed as a young child, it was a revelation: "oh my god… can I just do that? Can I just move without it having to be anything specific, without it having a goal, or a purpose?! Can I really just move for nothing else but my own pleasure and joy?! And do it sober?!" I was genuinely surprised how natural and organic it felt - I didn't have to "do" anything, simply "allow" what has always been there to come back to life.
It took me a very long time to allow my body to experience the pleasure and freedom of dance without being ashamed that my body in movement did not behave or look like the bodies of dancers I saw in popular culture. It took me a very long time to give my body a full permission to dance even though it didn't look like a body I deemed worthy of dancing. Allowing my body to move with music, to express emotion in movement, for the sheer sake of pleasure, relaxation and nourishment, has been one of the most profoundly healing and liberating experiences in my life. And nowadays it is my "go to" tool when things feel a bit off.
I invite you to experiment with your body and free unstructured movement. Start simple: choose one song and for its duration put on hold everything and anything you think you know about your body and "dance". Forget about "steps", "choreography", or "exercise". Take a couple of deep breaths and see if you can allow your body, your animal to take the lead and just move… maybe a finger to begin with, maybe rocking of the pelvis, maybe head circles.. Observe the ripple effect on the rest of your body. Listen to the rhythm, to the pulse, to the vibration and allow your body to merge with it.. If you start getting lost in your thoughts, bring back focus to a part of your body and keep moving… What if emotions come up (and they will)? Allow, allow, allow.. I know: it can get scary, but you are liberating your body and your spirit and that's no small feat. So yes, you'll need some courage but I promise you: this is SO WORTH IT.
A lovely simple intro to embodiment check: https://wildsoulmovement.com/
Google "ecstatic dance" and "non-linear movement".