All week – as I’ve navigated my way through personal challenges that life inevitably throws at us all at one time or another – I have repeatedly found solace and catharsis in my living room by listening to my favorite music, singing loudly and dancing whenever the whim hit me. Within seconds of doing so I could feel the shift starting to happen – the shift of suppressed feelings being stirred and emotions being let out. I could feel, almost on a cellular level, my perspective shifting – with each beat, with each note. Despair dissolving into hope. Futility shapeshifting into possibility. Control releasing into peaceful surrender.
Dancing and singing didn’t make the complications of life go away but they sure changed my attitude for awhile… and what do we ever really have, truly, but this present moment?
Singing in harmony with the Indigo Girls, belting with Sarah McLachlan, allowing my anatomy to melt and grow and punctuate in time with the music as if my body were just another instrument in the band… none of these particular acts were “therapy” but were they ever therapeutic!
The professional dance/movement therapist works with the inherently healing power of dance and expressive movement within the therapeutic relationship – and the result can feel earth-shattering at times in its poignancy.
But outside of the professional dance/movement therapy session or the music therapy group, we still can tap into our own innate capacity for healing – through music and dance.
What a gift we have within ourselves! Each of us – at any moment – can tap into our innate musician, our innate dancer and transform the moment with creative expression using the most powerful and immediate of artistic instruments: our voices and our bodies. Who cares what it sounds like? Who cares what it looks like?
Perhaps you think that is easy for me to say because, as a dance/movement therapist, I am a dancer first. It’s true. I’ve never been afraid to dance – by myself or in front of others. But singing is another story entirely. I can't sing, but after many years of self-consciousness, and realizing that music and dance are apart of all of us, whether trained or not.
So I pass along my words of advice: Just Sing.
And of course: Just Dance.
Let your inner, healing dancing musician reveal a new perspective of the world.
It awaits you on the other side of your favorite song.
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