Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Why does dance matter?

This week, bloggers and dancers all over are responding to the question, Why Dance Matters, which was first posed by Nichelle at Dance Advantage (one of my fave blogs if you don't already know that!).

I've been checking out everyone's inspiring, thought-provoking, funny and humble posts at the Facebook page (link here).  Please consider adding your own personal voice to the page and share with dancers and dance lovers everywhere your reason why dance matters to you.

There is the metaphysical: one of the things I see referenced often is that dance is a reflection of a person's soul.  It allows the individual to expose their own inner being to the world at large through their physical movement.  I also love the comments about how dance saved some of them when their darkest hour was at hand.  Some are parents writing about the necessity of dance in their children's lives to boost their self-esteem, to help them deal with tough times and tragedies, or to simply express their own joy of life through creative movement.

And there is the physical: Endorphins are released from your brain every time you move, making you feel good, soothing your aches and pains. Dance can help keep your muscles toned and shapely, so you look good as well. It can help control diabetes and weight gain. And dancing to music helps brains develop too, especially those of young people. For older students, dance is good for their bones and is a form of exercise that is easier on their joints than something like running, not to mention the memorization of combinations helps delay senility.

Lots of good stuff in dance.  So why do I think dance matters in this day and age? When there are so many other things that take up our time and focus, dance is but a small blip. As my husband likes to remind me, dancers are few in this world and of them, ballet dancers even fewer.  Although my life revolves around it, why should others?

Dance is both bigger and smaller than you.  Dance transcends age and ability. It can be a stage performance by ABT or it can be your child in your backyard.  It is the creative expression of things that are far beyond your comprehension and it is also a small story you want to tell your loved ones. When I dance, I know that I am a part of something that has its roots in history and when I teach, I am honored to be passing on that history.I love that dance changes with each of us and yet I love that it spans continents without change. 

Yes, dance has something to offer all of us but most of all, we have something to offer dance.  Every one of us has a gift that can enhance the art form of dance.  There is beauty in every one of us who dances.

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