Dance It Out
Self Portrait Series 9/52
Have you seen those trends, where people turn on music and try not to dance while different songs play? I suck at those. Whenever and wherever the music hits, I just have to dance. It’s programmed into me. Why? No clue, but I love it!
The Nature of Dance
I think we were all made to dance -- to move our bodies in a way that connects us to music. Think about it -- You don’t have to teach a toddler how to dance. It comes about naturally for them. In fact, dance is a form of self expression that’s been a part of every culture for thousands of years. I actually think it seems unnatural not to dance, sway, or have something ignite within us when our favorite tune comes on. Perhaps it’s when we start worrying about what others will think, that some of us start suppressing our desire to dance.
Dancing has been therapeutic for me. When I was a middle schooler, and suicidal (iykyk), something my parents did that honestly saved my life was put me into a singing/dancing program in Salt Lake. Every Thursday night, my mom and I would jump in the car and drive the 30 minutes from Park City to Salt Lake, where I would learn songs and dances with other boys and girls my age. We covered so many different songs from the beach boys to Christmas hits to Cats the musical. Every single Christmas and spring we’d perform at many different places, and it not only boosted my confidence, but solidified my passion for dancing.
When Ammon and I lived in Michigan, we had three kids under three, no family nearby, not many friends there, and only one car that he took to work every day. It was a very lonely time for me. I quickly learned that I had to pull out all the stops and create a beautiful life alone in my home, or I’d sink deep into a pit of despair. It was during that time that I wrote Lydia Murder Mystery, started the cookbook, and wrote a few songs. I would also dance in my kitchen almost everyday with my babies. It was how we set the tone for the day. It may seem weird, but dancing each morning felt like an old friend coming for a visit, giving me the motivation and energy to get things done, to have a laugh (or a cry), and to keep going.
Writing this post actually makes my heart ache a little. It was such a special little ritual to dance with my children every morning. Now, they run off to school so quickly in the morning and it’s just me and Ammon at home, so it doesn’t happen as often. Maybe this is what Peter Pan meant about losing the fun when you grow up.
How do you feel about dancing? Do you love it as much as I do, or do you prefer not to dance? I’d love to hear from both sides on this!