There is a bit of insanity in dancing that does everybody a great deal of good – Edwin Denby
I come from a country where the culture is to just start dancing for every thing, be it a wedding celebration, a festival of dance where we dance in evenings for 9 consecutive days – the Navratri festival, Bharatnatyam and Kathak dancers giving professional programmes on stage or Bollywood having a sequence of dances in their films. Thus music and dance is what we have grown up listening and seeing, but still there are people like me who have never taken a professional help to learn it or are much interested in knowing a particular dance form.
Yet, here are a few reasons that everyone can benefit with, while dancing, even if you have been a non dancer and have never danced in your life. It is never too late to start with a new activity, if it is for your mental and physical well being. The best part about dancing away is that you need not be a professional to enjoy it, anyone can do it, anytime, anywhere. Dancing is free, it is a good stress buster- it is meditative too.
1. Dance for freedom
Dancing is a natural expression of your body.
It is through your body movements in response to a particular music that you can feel a sense of freedom in thoughts and in action. If you are the kind who restricts yourself in words and in your behaviour, this is a place to start with. Let your body loose, put on music- it might be slow and soft or it can be a fast number. Dance away with whatever movements that come in your mind, it might be just swaying your body left and right, in circular motion-the Sufi style, or a particular dance step that you remember from somewhere. After a few minutes the body starts feeling relaxed and free of any boundaries, your body will tell you how it wants to move and this is where you feel the power of being free.
One of my friend’s son who used to find it difficult to express himself whether in school or with friends, even with his own family, was recommended by a counsellor to just start dancing in his room with music that he liked. After just a few months there were visible changes in the confidence level of the child in relation to his body and mind, both. He did not become a great dancer as such, but he definitely opened up with his peers and became more vocal with his family.
2. Dance for creativity
Dance is a form of art, and a wonderful way to boost creativity.
Dance takes you in a different realm altogether – it takes your mind off from your regular routine for a period of time. Dancing will open up your soul, let go the inhibitions and conditioning of our body, your mind, thus comes a time when you can be at your creative best. Since dancing requires you to move freely with no set of rules, it can make your body move in whatever creative way you want. You come up with new styles, new hand movements, new facial expression, whatever, in a dance form. This dance form reflects your individuality, your whole personality, who you are – creativeness flows like a free river when you have set yourself free.
Once you start dancing you will come across thoughts and expressions that you never knew existed within you. Use dance to fill up your creative canvas with all those emotions and feelings, thoughts and ideas.
In fact dancers are so creative in the sense, the number of new dance forms being invented every year.
3. Dance to Express
Dancing is a great way to express your emotions whether it is happiness or sorrow, excitement or pain, fear or anger.
A human has a spectrum of emotions that he needs to express from time to time. There might be situations where you can not show them in a general way. Just dance it out, release your anger, efface your fears, fade away your sorrows or just dance away in happiness. All our emotions can be channelled through this art form.
Dance like a child- do jump dance, do frog dance, slither like a snake, or just move like water. There is so much to express when you dance, break free of inhibitions and let go. There are so many classical Indian dances like Bharatnatyam and Kathak which tell us a story in dance forms without uttering a word. Their face expressions and hand movements in sync with the dance tell the story clear and loud.
There was a game that we played in the annual get together of our cousins where a topic is given and the music starts. The person has to express the word in dance form, along with music. There were words like cooking, photography, wedding etc. It is unbelievable that it was so easy to express the most complicated chapters of life and also with so much fun – Every act could just go on in a dance form, if not for the time limit. A few of them who do not dance at all were so comfortable playing this game, and they were loving it too.
4. Dance for Health
With so much being said and heard about the health welfare, dancing holds a strong place in keeping us healthy.
Dancing requires the whole body to be in motion, thus every part of our body from head to toe is working out. It engages different sets of muscles for different dancing styles, it elevates your mood depending on what music you are dancing on and thus your entire body and mind is working out. The calories burnt are much more than the standard walking routines and also it is a good workout for the heart. It is very fruitful for those who want to lose weight and also for those who want to tone up their body.
Different dance styles effect different body parts and you can choose to a style which you are comfortable with depending on your stamina and age. But dance is for everyone, kids or old, everyone- you can have lots of fun with it.
Dancing is also a type of therapy, it releases you of so many emotions and sets you free. Dance release happy hormones, after dancing if you sit down with eyes closed, you realise you are looking directly in your soul. Once your body starts swaying and moving, you feel alive and joyous- this is healthy.
Thus, include a dance routine in your workout regime and see the difference in a few months. Dancing requires energy and thus we can incorporate good eating habits to keep fit.
5. Dance for Fun
Dance with joy
Dancing is a way to show you are happy and having fun. This is a reason every wedding and festivities are incomplete without a dance routine. Whether it is a slow couple dance or a loud and fun Bhangra dance, we all love to dance when happy. Take part in these festivities, just go there, dance away and have fun. Let all the happy hormones release and see how you breathe much better.
I personally love to take part in dancing on stage whenever and wherever I get a chance just for fun. I have presented dances on a few Bollywood numbers on stage after practicing with a professional and believe me it was ‘fun’. All you need to do is get out of your routine and join in a dance group or if you have a group of friends, learn dancing from a professional and present it on stage for the enjoyment. Here knowing to dance well is not important but having fun is.
Well, its never too late to start!! So put on your dancing shoes and get out there on the dance floor, your drawing room or any empty space available and start dancing. Please see that there is enough space and you do not hurt yourself and you are good to go. Dancing is Fun, meditative, healthy and creative. Take advantage and start dancing with your favourite music.