‘I don’t dance’

By Brietta Leader
Reader Contributor

Photo by Woods Wheatcroft.

“I don’t dance” is a phrase I have heard many times over the years. I used to react with concern or coercion, leaving the conversation with a dull ache in my heart. Now when folks claim, “I don’t dance,” I simply don’t believe them. I am not sure if it’s the word ‘dance’ that scared them off, but I know that any living, breathing human at any age can dance. We have simply lost trust in the movement of our body or never realized that the dance began in the womb, as the egg and the sperm danced together. Our journey with dance begins when we are carried by the heartbeat of our mothers. When we are born and move through the different stages of our lives, our exposure to dance varies. Frequent living-room dance parties growing up and dance technique classes don’t matter. The point is that when some of your favorite music is played your toe starts to tap, your heart may lift and perhaps a smile will broaden your face. Even the infamous head bob can be called a dance, though you have so many more body parts to move. The reason why I bring this up is that dance connects you to your ancient roots. The primal energies of groups of people gathering to pray, heal, celebrate, rejoice is such good medicine and fun. Dance has so many healing qualities as it releases stress, opens your creative flow, activates your mind/body connection and allows you to connect to your soul. 

We all have a body, and they all need tending to on a daily basis. The basic desire to feel good in your body actually takes intention, movement and focus. What I love about dance is that it takes me out of linear thinking and mechanical movements and broadens my perspective as I travel through the planes of movement, 360-degree awareness and my relationship to both my inner and outer environments.

As a pioneer of dance in small towns, I have heard all the excuses to not dance, and I am here to remind you that yes, you can and you are everyday. What is true for you in each moment is reflected in your body; your sensations, impulse, intuition, reactions. It is all communicated through body language. It is said that 10 percent of a conversation is heard through the voice, and the other 90 percent is digested through the language of the body. Doesn’t that make you want to get to know your body’s language more?

If your curiosity is sparked by this discussion of dance, I encourage you to come and try a class. If you are holding onto the phrase, “I don’t dance,” then I will most likely see you at the Hive or the Festival at Sandpoint dancing your booty off after a few drinks. Either case, trust your dance and your process in letting go of the “I don’t dance” phrase. I am not one to make big promises, but I can easily promise you that dance is one of the best self- healing techniques on the planet. All you need is permission to set yourself free.

Written by Brietta Leader, creator of WildCore™ Movement and co-creator at Embody Studio for the Healing Arts. Learn more at www.wildcoremovement.com

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