Almost exactly six years ago, the Ontario Arts Council produced a video that offered diverse explanations for Why I Dance. Each of us has our own reasons, of course. And some of us have multiple reasons. In fact, if you were to ask Google about “why I dance,” you would find many inspiring and creative reasons that span from the physical to the metaphysical, from enlivening the spirit to connecting to the spiritual. Dance enables us to get out of our heads and into our bodies. It allows us to release that which is only superficially and temporarily urgent in order to grasp tightly to that which is of profound importance.
My own contemporary journey into dance began as a means to get out of my head during graduate school. It became a lifeline and welcome respite from the enervating tedium of research analysis. Dance transformed into a way to express my masculinity and explore safe relationships because of the public-space intimacy of (especially) Latin partner dancing. It provided a most welcome, natural, pro-health (but arguably addictive) anti-depressant and anti-anxiety remedy.
I dance because dance brings so many wonderful and beautiful people into my life, including a dance partner who has become my life partner. Dance is shared joy that can sustain long after any music has faded. Dance causes people to glow and shine and sparkle, to be their best and reflect your best back to you.
Many people say that dance is good exercise – which it is – but they say it in a way as if to justify and rationalize its fun. Dance benefits not only your body, but your mind as well, especially with lead-follow dances like salsa, bachata, swing, tango, and other improvised forms. One might say that dance is among the only ways we have of stopping time, when you’re in the moment with a wonderful partner, and as a way of putting off the ravages of aging—physically, cognitively, emotionally, and spiritually.
Why dance? You might as well ask, “Why breathe?” Dance is life!
Have you danced lately? If not, come join us on Thursday evening, and share why you dance when we…
See you on the dance floor!