I remember a time when I felt lost and didn’t even realize it. In such a time, freestyle dancing became a blessing, a means of guidance. It was through expressive dance that I began to reconnect with my desires, my likes, my dislikes, my own unique movement and my voice.
Dance became a way to express myself when words didn’t exist or failed. It became a way to be completely honest with a Greater Power in the universe, and with myself.
As I grew older, I began to learn of how I wasn’t alone in recognizing this energy and power of dance. Many other women and men freestyle danced for similar ecstasy, satisfaction, and personal growth.
Throughout time, people throughout the world have recognized this mystical power of dance and its ability to guide you to a different level of existence. The truth is, anyone can dance.
What is the soul? Is it not the part of us that recognizes our individual and collective presence in this world? The part of us that recognizes how our time on this planet is limited? The part of us that seeks to become aware of our place amongst people, this planet, this universe?
Is it not the parts of us that encourage us to be fearless in our search for, or journey of, truth and authenticity, while being compassionate and respectful of others? Do we not all seek to make peaceful, inspiring, sometimes ground-shaking meaning out of our lives?
Dance can become a vehicle for all that. It may not be the only tool or practice in our journey, but it can be one that has the ability to ground us, bring us back to our hearts, and help us recognize our own soul’s voice. Many spiritual paths and religions teach to look at the body as a temple.
The body is indeed a sacred space, yet it isn’t a rigid, lifeless structure! The body houses the soul; it is through this living, moving body that we take in our experience of life, express our longings, and communicate. These are some of the reasons that I compare dance to other well-known ways of meditation.
Dance as a form of Flowing Meditation
In other meditations, people usually still their bodies and aim to simply observe the thoughts that arise, not react to them. That is a helpful practice for many people, yet there is more than one way to do something. When one approach doesn’t work, a different one can. They can both coexist in our toolbox, if we wish.
As a part of this human journey, we may find your minds full of thoughts, worries, stories of the past or wishes for the future. In dance, we can express those stories in the movement, honoring them and freeing them in this way. Or we can simply observe them as we dance in the trance.
Some people even like doing precise repetitive movements while doing a meditative dance. As our bodies become more comfortable with this new practice, he/she (or your soul) simply makes those decisions for us.
According to hypnotist and NLP practitioner David Snyder, physiological illnesses can happen due to repressed emotions; in order for the body to heal, it needs somatic engagement, which means it needs to get physically involved.
“When you want to get rapid, powerful change, get the body involved” he says. It’s no wonder that dance has been honoured as a healing art for many many years, and is being used for that purpose even now.
Dancing freestyle increases our intuitive abilities. Building trust for the movements our bodies make, can increase our trust in our hunches and our ability to make decisions in other parts of our lives as well.
Promotes a Unique Sense of Self:
As we make up our own moves or piece moves together depending on what our bodies feel is right, we can gain greater insight into how our bodies move and feel. People often have their own unique sense of style, rhythm and forms of movement.
Celebrating our bodies, our energies and feelings through dance can increase confidence. It can increase our sense of our abilities and our humanness.
Increases Comfort with the Unknown:
Practicing an art, such as dancing, can teach us how to create something beautiful and meaningful out of complex and challenging experiences. It can become a healthy way to express difficult emotions physically. The spontaneous element of freestyle dance can also inspire us to see the spontaneous nature of life in different ways.
Allows Us to Connect With Different Parts of Ourselves:
Music has different energy. While the sound of piano may bring up images of royalty and sophistication, spanish guitar can bring up images of far off lands with flamenco dancers stealing the limelight. The variety in music can bring out different sides to us as we dance, which can follow us into other areas of life, adding to our experience.
Connection with Something Beyond Ourselves:
Some people believe in a Higher Power, and some people don’t. For those that do believe in one, dance can become a way to non-verbally connect with and express yourself to an energy you don’t verbally hear.
How to Start:
There are different ways to add dance into our lives. The simplest way to get started on this journey is to dance alone in your own space. Simply play music you feel like listening to or put on a playlist which you want to try out. Then gently begin to sway your body, move your hips, move your body part by part however your body wishes. Then, let the music take over and go with the flow.
You may feel resistance come up. You may hear discouraging voices in your head telling you that this is silly, or that you can’t do this, or that it won’t work for you. That happens sometimes when we try new things. I encourage you to give it a try anyways, so that your decision on whether or not to continue with this practice isn’t influenced by fear-based resistance.
May we dance our souls free.