The Dance Floor is My Teacher
I started going to night clubs when I was 16 years old. It was one of my favorite things to do through my 20s. Some weeks during college and medical school I was out 5 nights a week. Really. And most of the time I didn’t even drink. Looking back it was my medicine.
I loved to dance.
I still do.
All humans do. It’s therapy. Food for our soul.
It’s something we’ve done since the beginning of time. It’s written in our DNA. Even my mom shares of her childhood memories where dancing was a normal part of holiday gatherings, but it’s rare that dancing happens at home or family get togethers anymore. Why?
What happened to this lost art that allows us to embody our prayers, let go of tension and stress and release what is no longer serving us? Why have people stopped moving to the drum when it’s a natural antidepressant and teaches us about relating with ourselves and others?
Dance allows energy to flow through the body, releasing blockages that create disease.
Dance is a ritual of honoring our bodies and our souls.
Dancing connects us to
our wild, free spirited nature,
our childlike essence
and even the rage that cannot be expressed in everyday.
When people stop dancing, they stop celebrating.
Over the past few years my primary physical practice has become 5 Rhythms, an incredible dance practice with much intelligence connected to the 5 elements and various body parts leading various rhythms. This beautiful practice has also connected me to a tribe of beautiful humans and has shown me my weak spots especially around intimacy.
Dark rooms with disco balls and high heels have been replaced with sunlit ballet studios with hardwood floors and bare feet.
We get sweaty. We get real.
We’re smelly and working through all sorts of emotions. The least flattering form of dance you can ever imagine. It’s a raw, soul baring kind of dance.
There are moments I catch myself in some kind of spastic movement and I look around to see others doing their version and I can’t help but laugh at how beautifully weird we all are.
But it works. Because at the end of two hours we are lighter, happier, freer.
Through dance I’ve learned deeper presence and relationship.
But to even show up to learn the lessons in the dynamic of being in partnership, my self awareness needs to be on point so that I can witness my dysfunctional patterns when they arise. The deepening of my own personal meditation practice has been key.
As you all know I’m deeply committed to deeper intimacy with all human beings in my personal life as well as in the work I offer. Dance has been one of the greatest ways for me to heal minor fears in intimacy that I didn’t know existed. It’s allowed me to be in relationship without trying to control or change another person. The most beautiful thing is when two people can dance their unique dance while still being present to the other person's authentic dance even if it's completely different. That’s my idea of a beautiful relationship.
I have since expanded to different types of partnered dance and this has also helped me heal my relationship with the masculine in a huge way.
Just last week at a 6PM conscious dance part in NYC, I fully surrendered to a man, allowing him to lead me in a sexy dance to Brazilian tribal music. It didn’t begin as smoothly sounds though.
I’ve always has a hard time letting others to lead me. That’s what happens when you're a leader or a strong willed woman. This can also a problem for a woman who deeply wants to surrender.
This guy had amazing moves and I was feeling myself let go and really get into it moving in ways I never had before. It was the best sensual dance I’ve ever had with another person. I was just about to release full control and surrender to the moment when I tensed up and pulled away trying to regain composure.
After a few seconds of dancing apart he thanked me for the dance and walked away. I felt a little rejected because I wanted to keep dancing. Looking back it was perfectly what needed to happen because it gave me the opportunity to come into complete self awareness and to see what I had done. I had pulled away in a subconscious moment of fear of intimacy. The realization of this got me excited because it was a moment for growth so I went looking for him to share what I had discovered.
I found him drinking water and I shared about my freak out moment. I thanked him for being a teacher for me and requested that he find me again to continue our dance. Later in the evening when we danced again I stated my intention was to surrender. And I did just that.
I completely let go and felt such beautiful energy fill my body, I became high from the natural chemical release that happens in the body when we allow ourselves to fully experience a moment, especially with another. It was pure ecstasy.
When we finished I thanked him and he thanked me for trusting him.
That was what I haven’t had for the masculine.
But I decided that this was an old story I wasn’t choosing to tell anymore. We have this power–to choose something different in any moment.
My ability to trust was connected to my ability to surrender. First I had to surrender. Then I could feel that trust meet me.
This is what faith is.
That evening my heart was blown open and I looked around the dance floor at the diversity of people dancing just to dance. They were beautiful in the most sweaty carefree way.
I cried at how, even through our challenges and imperfections, it’s such a gift to be human.
For me the greatest expression of our humanity is the embodiment of our sensuality and our capacity to feel. It feels so good.
And dancing helps us feel.