As we gently glide into this New Year of movement, exciting plans, to-do lists and our body’s many reminders that self-care is needed, a breath is released after the hectic-ness the holiday season brings. Whether you’re the one running around getting groceries and shopping, or simply have to drive through town enduring the busy-ness, we are all some how affected by the heightened movement of the holidays.
The trouble is that we tend to be less in our bodies and more in our minds and cars. It’s all for good reasons of course, family, plans, delightful cooking and getting to see all the people you don’t often get to, but now is the time to sink back into quiet-ness, find peace in the family moments before school begins again, and be grateful for all we are given and able to give this year. Because now, the New Year is here and it’s a perfect time to re-order our priorities, re-organzie our work and relaxation space (to make sure they are separate) and deeply get into our bodies for re-dedication to our health, our movement and our spirit!
Yes, I’m a dancer, so inevitably I’m going to bring this around to dancing, but there’s so much more to this than just signing up for a class at our studio. It is worth it for all the wonderful purposes of getting healthy, strong and flexible (both in body and mind), but we will talk about that in our next post. For now, let’s focus on you and how to bring dance into your life in anyway that you want – even if you’re saying to yourself “I don’t dance” or “I can’t dance”. How can you find a way to dance every day?
Let’s address the first “I don’t dance” comment I here sometimes. It simply needs to be questioned back “why not” and that’s for you to mull over and find safe space to open up that box that you’ve closed to look at when you’re ready. Email me and we can talk about it if you want to dance but say that you don’t.
Now, the second one, “I CAN’T DANCE” comment – is my FAVORITE! It is where I get very excited because that’s where we can help right now – and you can help yourself.
First, let’s list the easy-peasy ways to dance that will prove to you or anyone who put that idea in your head that you can’t dance, that you in fact CAN dance! (By the way if the only reason you say you “can’t dance” is because some jerk was mean and judgmental and told you you can’t dance, just dismiss that right now, because whoever they were, they were most likely insecure or jealous of you, and seeing you open up to dance only reminded them of their own discomfort. That’s not your work or your problem so let that go right away!)
Here’s what I tell my clients in our first one on one lesson, or slip into the group lessons when it easily pairs with analogies that help open the body, by helping the mind to realize “oh yeah! I CAN do this thing easily, I had no idea it was so similar to dance!” Here we go…
Do you make food? A sandwich, toast, tea? FABULOUS! You’re dancing about in your belly excited for what your body needs and whether you like it or not, your body is dancing – and in gratitude for you for feeding it!
Do you drink water? BRAVO! Your cells, muscles, blood, organs and everything else inside you is dancing the magical dance of flow, movement and breath. Bringing that hydration and oxygen to you cells is the best way TO dance!
Now how about this, do you do laundry, sweeping, wash the dishes, pick up clothes off the floor, go up and down stairs, clean a toilet bowl, vacuum or dust? This is so much dancing I can’t even stand it! However, because you are moving so much physically, you have to also be conscious of your body more than you might normally be while cleaning and taking care of home. All those squats and low back bends, all those second position arms when carrying a laundry basket out away from your core with your neck raised and poised as you walk up the stairs, all those releves to get up on you tippy toes to grab a dish on a high cabinet or dust the fridge, etc etc…yes YOU ARE DANCING! So think DANCE while you clean. Instead of thinking ” I have so much to clean, my back hurts, this is dirty, ugh” – be so in your body and in the task at hand, that you truly embody the motion fully and therefore are being mindful and in more flow in the moment. You will live more moments than the ones before and after cleaning, you will get dance benefit and strength and probably enjoy yourself more. (Kea’s Book Pick of the Month: read “The Art Of Mindfulness” by Thich Nhat Hanh, first chapter gets right to this point – but read the whole book too;)
I could go on and on about our life’s moments, tasks, errands and how they can prove to you that you are a coordinated and physically capable dancer, but you’re busy, so I won’t.
I will say though, that you also think a lot about your work, your family, friends and relationships, your meaning and purpose daily. You may think that you only think a little bit about some or even all of these topics. Maybe some more than others, however I’d love for you to realize that this concentration and action-based intention for whatever the major amount of your energy is put into, is a huge way that you dance in this world. It’s through you that dance is channeled when you console your child for a tough day at school a partner after a long day of work. Your compassion and kindness, warmth and love, empathy and understanding moves through you into them sharing that they are not alone, much like a dancer on stage conveys an identifiable story for the audience to lose themselves in and feel – understood.
It’s through you that dance is channeled when you put endless energy into your career, job or hobby – because it brings you joy and meaning in life. I must say, you dance so much and it’s a beautiful thing. I hope you look in the mirror in the morning and say “Wow – I’m an amazing dancer – let’s go get this day!” And then whatever you should face, you bring with it, naturally, your grace, your strength, your poise and balance to handle all that life brings. Dancers need all of those skills and work on them constantly – and look – you’re doing it and you don’t even realize it! Great Job!
And because life is not perfect, we learn how to adapt, bend, balance, fall and get up, rebalance, turn, spin, multi task, rise up, crouch low, hold tight to our guts, feel joy released in our chest and tears prick the back of our eyes! We feel goosebumps when we are inspired and emotional – oh all the feels – throughout all of the challenges and successes in life – we move energy and energy moves us! My goodness, how we dance.
Now, if you need some more encouragement, email me and we can talk about you, your story and how you dance – and hopefully you will feel confident enough, if it is what you desire, to take a dance class and put new form, style, movement and technique to all of the dance that is inside you already. Through education, training and sharing what you already have inside you, your talents, just think of what could grow! What is your story? Who are you? Come dance it! What are your goals? Come join countless other students, old and young, experienced and brand new, eager and timid, as they too take that step across our threshold into our studio to face what is inside them and become a student once again.
Because that is a part of this whole journey on earth, learning. You have already mastered so much in your life by now. You have essentially mastered the life you have today or else it wouldn’t be rolling without the gusto it has into your plans and schedule that you have made. You are the heart of your life. The muscle that pumps blood and life in the body, that is you! So don’t for one second say you CAN’T dance, because we’ve done a good job explaining how that is now impossible.
But if it is your dream, to learn more dance, and to embrace all those feels inside you that happen when your favorite song comes on or you want to express a feeling but can’t find the words (or even someone who you think would understand you)…come dance with us and you won’t be alone.
I have to do it every day – learn. And being the leader of this company sometimes makes it hard for me to step back and set down my load of what I think I know and take a lesson of what I could know. So I practice that too – everyday, because that action happens to be another way that I dance.
Light and love to all,