Do you feel better when you dance? If yes then you’ll know that the question – Why do we dance? is hard to put into words and write about. The lived bodily feelings experienced in that present moment of dancing have passed. So what goes on on the dance floor? Firstly it’s the shared experience with others that is transformative.
Dancing instantly connects you with the reptilian part of the brain that draws on instinct rather than analysis or rationality. When dancing we’re in a different zone as we communicate through eye contact, gestures and movement whilst often being joined to others dancing their own dance – living their own feelings and experience whist sharing the space.
As creations of the Earth, dancing brings us closer to our innate creative power and the interior life force that lives within us. Without this connection, there is a deadened feeing inside. Dancing gives us a real, perceptible and visceral sense of our own vitality.
Secondly dancing gives us an awareness of our body and it’s physicality. Most of us reside in our intellect and have shut down the corporal side of who we are. Children are aware of their bodies, often dancing spontaneously without reflection. Adult feelings of awkwardness, embarrassment and being looked at don’t enter their receptive minds until the over analytical self conscious world has worked itself upon them.
Sometimes dancing may be uncomfortable if in front of others and we can feel out of our comfort zone. Yet an inner impulsion and the rhythm of the music keeps us dancing – the drug has entered our systems and our hormones say: YES this is good for me! The feeling continues, stays with us way long after the dance has finished and the party is over.
Often our minds are elsewhere and everywhere as we’re doing several things at once. When we dance we live each moment. There’s no physical result at the end, simply a feeling that we take with us into our everyday lives.
The effects of dancing aren’t quantifiable or visible (except feeling sweaty and aching hips the next day!) Personally I can go to a dance class feeling tired after a full day with my brain buzzing unable to switch off and by the end of dancing with others my energy and behaviour has changed to feeling happy, energised and being in the present moment.
What is Biodanza?
Biodanza is an opportunity to dance with life whilst experiencing life in the present moment. Biodanza is a system of movement based around a sequence of different dances that unleash your vitality and creativity. We dance to a wide variety of music, from Brazilian samba to classical and modern pieces. During the first half of a class, the music stimulates your vital energy with more active dances, followed by dances to more relaxing music calming your body and rebalancing your nervous system.
All the dances are explained and demonstrated by myself, giving you an opportunity to listen to the music before dancing your own dance as the music and movement inspires you. Dances can be done individually, in pairs or together as a group activity.
Created in the 1960s by Rolando Toro, a psychologist, anthropologist and poet, Biodanza developed as a result of his clinical work with psychiatric patients in hospitals. He realised that it was better to reinforce the positive feelings and emotions in people through moving their bodies, rather than focusing on past negative experiences. For Rolando, Biodanza was a system of human development for individuals to re-learn the joy of living.
In Biodanza we create our own dances around a variety of different themes. There are no steps, rules or choreography except honouring yourself by doing only what is right for you. So if a dance suggestion doesn’t sit comfortably with you then you take the decision to sit that one out. It’s this freestyle dancing where individuality has its turn to break through, show itself and shine. At the same time the performance of showing it to the world (whilst in the security of a Biodanza class of fellow dancers) works to release a person’s inner potential – to advance in life with greater ease and joy. This is the idea of being in feedback with yourself and the group.
Some of the benefits of Biodanza include: personal relationships becoming easier and friendlier with greater eye contact and an increased sense of touch, all whilst having more feelings of positivity, joy, belonging and interaction.
I have always loved dancing and finding Biodanza as a creative activity and way to connect with people has been life changing for me. If you would like to try it for yourself then I invite to an introductory Biodanza class on Saturday 4 January 2020, 13.00-16.00 at Mytholmroyd Community & Leisure Centre. Reserve your place here.