Thursday, July 6, 2017

Lessons from Dance for Life

All the arts are windows into the Divine Nature. Practicing an art form gives us a language, a lyric or a landscape for our unique reflections of the Divine.

The art of the dance is the most embodied of all art forms. The artist and work of art are most inseparable in the dance, in which channel, process, product and inspiration are made visible and keenly felt.

When we dance, when we truly dance, we become Masters of Presence. All parts of ourselves are called to manifest through our moving bodies. We become whole, if even for the brief eternity of the dance. The power of this art form is often overlooked, because it is frequently dismissed as frivolous or ornamental by mainstream culture. At least, the public is aware of the health benefits of dance, yet there is so much more.

The dance teaches us to be fully present, aware, switched-on and tuned into our creativity as it unfolds in the here and now. It teaches us to be centered, yet radiant; fully aware of the power of our limbs, breath and gestures to affect the world around us. It teaches us to reach for a version of ourselves much closer to the gods; that part of us more closely attuned to the vibrations of Divine Nature.

Dance can imitate life, or it can mirror the ascension of the soul and express the evolutionary pathway of the dancer as she dances into a realm where she embodies a “self greater than all selves” to quote Isadora Duncan. Her dance can be rooted, or it can soar into the aether, or both. It can flow through worlds, bridging her soul’s message through her resonant body to her audience. It can burn with a radiant passion, enveloping all present in an alchemical fire. And it can retract, pulling her Self, her Universe, her galaxies all into that deep core that she knows very well, because she visits it on a daily basis.

As one of the most primal forms of ritual, our ancestors danced to contact the Earth, the elements, each other and the Cosmos. They spun and spiralled like galaxies and stamped like wild herds. They joined hands and hearts to re-create the Sacred Hearth. They danced to heal, and now more than ever, the healing power of Dance is re-emerging. It heals us by giving us maps to ourselves. It heals by giving us direct access to ourselves and ways to master ourselves. It opens our inner eyes and ears, pricks up our senses and tunes up our subtle intelligence.

By awakening our own sense of rhythm, we gain access to the cosmic rhythms that rule all of existence. By awakening our own sense of harmony, we embody the harmonic aspirations we long to manifest in our lives. By moving with authentic purpose, we allow our Divine Soul to speak in the material world, bringing its message that much closer to manifestation.

The body and soul already have a close relationship. It’s the ego, afraid of being judged or “doing it wrong” that suggests that you “can’t” dance. If you feel this way, I suggest you turn up the volume on a raucous song from your youth and let it all go. Flail, headbang, spin, shake, stamp!! Let your body speak freely, and your soul will soon join the conversation. Give your ego a chance to purge through submerging in the sweaty cauldron of cathartic, healing movement. Let the music take you to the brink of ecstasy, throw yourself into the vortex and let yourself melt and be re-composed.

And see how you feel afterward, purified and forged anew. Everything you need to set in motion is already moving within you. Your Divine Nature is waiting on the other side of ego for your invitation to dance.

(from Twilights of Love by the late Brazilian poet Sidney Tenucci, which I translated into English)

If I dance among moments

And their loves and rhythms cross my soul,

Always, I am something more than body,

Something that exceeds humors,

Chants – and loves themselves.

I am air, ethereal and shining brightly,

A fulgent, spinning atom.

I am finally something of my own,

A winged, flying gift,

In the presence of God

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