The nature of dance touches deep within the dancer, infusing them with a spirit incomparable to any other sport.
If you've watched your little one bee-bopping to the music recently, or the heart and passion the more experienced dancer puts into their movements, you'll note the difference in their expression compared to earlier in the day. You might see happiness. Joy. Peace.
The reason for this?
Music itself has an innate capability to penetrate into the human mind. When dance is incorporated—or manifested from it—the atmosphere changes. Outer spheres of influence that might have caused tension or stress outside the walls of the classroom, the dance floor, the stage, are left at the door. Because dance is intensive and requires focus, it acts as a potential stress reliever. This leaves the dancer with a positive outlook, brighter disposition, and ready to come back for more.
Dance produces joy, or a feeling of great pleasure or happiness, regardless of the hard and strenuous work as the dancer builds up their strength and perfects individual steps and poses. Encouragement from a passionate instructor, trust and friendships with classmates, and a desire to grow personally are all contributing factors for this.
The younger children start, the faster they catch on. It is, quite frankly, fun and adorable to see the little ones twirling and rocking to the beat, smiles stretched across their cherubic faces. Young or old, however, it is never to late to experience the powerful spirit and intense joy that dance can bring.
More than a series of hops and steps, dance is a living, breathing art. The physical manifestation of music. An expression of the inner self. A reflection of the soul. Dance is a safe and incredibly powerful way for children to mature into who they are meant to be.
Not a firefighter. A teacher. A writer. A poet. Although those may be occupations your children may hold in the future, that's not what I am getting at. Dance is the inner-self exposed. It challenges and it invigorates. It creates both a vulnerable, yet strong image. A dancer becomes powerful, filled with peace and a sense of who they are or who they are meant to be. They are unshakable and constantly improving, striving to better themselves. And that is where the joy—the deep, unshakable joy that dance brings—comes in.
"When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy." - Jalaluddin Rumi
Dance inspires for a reason. It leaves not only the audience fulfilled and awed—the same is true for the dancer. It is the expression of who they are deep within that is meaningful to them, and a work of art to the onlooker. From children learning the basics to the elite professionals, each have unique twists to their forms. They make it their own. And it leaves the dancer with a sense of well-being. Because they are expressing exactly who they are. A dancer. Filled with joy. Filled with spirit. And they leave it all on the stage.