Dancing Might Be the Answer
Lately I’ve noticed something— that dancing might be the answer to a lot of things. I already danced a lot around my kitchen when I was feeling good. I love nothing more than dancing with my kids as I prepare their lunches in the morning. But lately I’ve noticed that dancing can help me feel better even when I’m having a tough day.
Dancing feels like a celebration. A celebration of life. A celebration of having a body. A celebration of being healthy (or even just healthy enough to move).
For my birthday last month I went to Mexico with a group of friends, and we danced more than we did just about anything else. Someone would turn on music (creating playlists became our pastime), and we would start dancing and stop only when we had somewhere we needed to go. It felt cathartic and amazing in so many ways. Dancing with these friends who had all gathered from lots of disparate locations— we were together, and we were moving, and we were celebrating.
I didn’t go to the gym once during that trip, which isn’t like me. But I got plenty of exercise because we spent hours every day dancing.
One thing I love about dancing is that you don’t have to know what you’re doing— because your body just takes over and does it for you. There’s no right or wrong way. There’s just moving. Just feeling the music.
I was on a text chain last night with friends who were talking about the primaries and the upcoming election. So many different emotions were expressed— a lot of them by me (I was a government major in college who grew up wanting to be President of the United States, and I have a LOT of feelings about where we’ve gotten to in politics today). I felt so grateful that we could all talk about these things. I think they’re important, and it really helps to share them with people we care about.
We live in wild times. They can be confusing and disorienting. But I think dancing can help. It can help us process emotions through our body. It can help us move energy and feel our precious body and be in the moment, while all the rest swirls around.
After I got off the text chain with my friends last night, I danced. I danced to move energy. I danced because I had just found a song I really loved (“Never Seen the Rain,” by Tones and I; she’s the singer of “Dance Monkey,” which I also love). I danced because I’m alive, and though things can feel hard, I am grateful to be here. I am grateful for my friends and family. I am grateful for the work I’m doing. I am grateful for nature, and so many other things.
Dancing feels like a way to say thank you for all of these things. So I’m going to keep dancing. Wanna join me?