How to Rediscover Yourself Through DanceMay 10, 2021
People often take for granted how many transferable skills they learn throughout their various walks of life. When people come into my dance studio for a class, they're going to learn a lot more than a fitness routine or choreography; they're going to learn lessons for life. If you are entirely new to dance, the craft has the potential to teach you so much about yourself. I've seen students come in feeling uncertain, alone, frustrated with life and every feeling in between. But, after a few lessons, they learn things about themselves they never knew, and it's almost like they're blossoming into this whole new human! Still them, but their personality and confidence shine through! They carry themselves with poise and purpose! It's beautiful, and that rediscovery is what I want to talk about with you today.
Show Me How You Dance, and I'll Tell You Who You Are
Within moments of watching someone dance, I can already get a clear picture of who that person is. Most men, for example, are so stiff and generally seem unhappy to be dancing in the first place! Much of this comes from social conditioning and the "macho" mentality they feel tied to, but it comes through with how they move on the dance floor. I've watched powerful, independent women who are CEOs struggle to relinquish control and back-lead in partner dance. Couples, whether new or years into their relationship, are all over the map. You can see their joy together or an apparent mismatch, or even the intense sexual chemistry that flows between them. I've had shy, introverted singles come, worried about being watched and judged and content to be wallflowers. People say a lot about themselves than they imagine when they're not saying anything at all.
Dance Unite Cultures and People Worldwide
Music is considered a universal language. Whether you speak English, Spanish, Chinese, or Greek – when a beat starts up, you know what that means and, generally, how to move to it. Dance is also its own language and art, and our bodies the instrument. Over the years, cultures have been able to share their unique dances worldwide more readily. We now see so many blends and adaptations of these powerful performances in a variety of ways. Dance has a way of speaking to people, evoking catharsis as they connect with a dancers' emotions. It can motivate you to join in or want to learn it or just to sit back and reflect as you take it in. All while, likely, not knowing the native language of the people performing. It's really quite an amazing phenomenon and can lead you to discover a side of yourself you never knew was there.
Now's Your Chance to Shine
People are naturally creative, even if they don't know it. "I could never act." And yet, we perform every day, hiding parts of ourselves, showing what we want people to see. "I can't draw." Those little doodles on your notepad when on a business call are, still, an expression of your creativity. "I don't think I can dance." Yet a song you like comes on, and you find yourself bobbing your head or drumming your steering wheel a little bit. All the arts, but dance, in particular, allows you a chance to express your true nature! No matter how new to dance a person is, it's exciting to watch them discover a whole new side to themselves after feeling repressed for so long. As we grow up and lose our childlike wonder, getting more self-conscious, we can close ourselves off and hide who we truly are. But life is short, and we shouldn't let societal pressures or expectations stop us from enjoying ourselves and pursuing our creativity and dreams. Giving over to dance is an opportunity to let yourself shine, and you'll only grow brighter with more practice and increasing self-esteem.
Carry Yourself Tall and Confident
As I mentioned, there is an etiquette and poise to dancing that translates directly to exuding physical confidence. But there's even more to it than physical health and posture. When it comes to partner dance, there's so much we can learn about proper courtship and social etiquette. Though some of the courting rituals and gestures involved may seem old-fashioned, they also communicate respect and establish healthy boundaries. You can't just force a partner to join you and follow along; it'll be evident in the body language and awkwardness of the dance that you didn't adhere to the unspoken social contract. Instead, proper dance etiquette teaches the value of making eye contact, smiling politely, meeting a partner halfway, and waiting for permission to engage. Back to posture, your body language can express so much to your dance partner and help create an air of assurance, comfort, trust, and positivity. It is such an important lesson for people to learn, and its benefits off the dance floor are so obvious.
Alignment and Balance Are Vital to Dance and Life
The other side of physicality in dance, which goes hand-in-hand with the above, is a balanced foundation. Dance improves your physical health through building strong leg muscles and engaging your core, all of which lead to better alignment and balance. Coordination is the key to maintain your frame (how you carry yourself while dancing or walking). When you're more physically aligned and balanced, you present a sense of control and stability, inspiring confidence from people's perception of you. The more you dance, the more you practice, the better you'll look and feel, inside and out!
Comfort with the Desired Sex
Whether you're CIS-gendered, straight, gay, or anything on the spectrum in-between, interacting with someone you're attracted to can be awkward and uncomfortable at the best of times! But as people get more comfortable with dance, their self-esteem rises. I've seen men and women so hesitant to dance with one another at first get more and more confident in these social situations as they get more comfortable in their own skin. It's just a fact that the more at home you feel as yourself, the easier it will be to connect with others.
The Freedom to Express Your Sensual, Intimate Side
Sensuality and intimacy are as key to dance as they are in any romantic relationship. Some of the most fun you'll have on the dance floor comes from a sensual, spontaneous partner that encourages you to be free-spirited. If you're single and looking to connect or in a relationship looking to reconnect, you can learn a lot from dance about expressing your more intimate side. Watching people connect with someone else in the moment through dance and open themselves up to just being free and having fun as they express themselves is exciting and heartwarming to witness. Just imagine: if you can do that on the dance floor, what will ignite in your personal relationships?
Vulnerability is Strength
The most important place to start, and where the most remarkable breakthroughs happen with dance, is putting yourself out there. Just the act of stepping into the dance studio is already a victory; you showed up, and you're stretching your comfort zone. People need to remember the small victories to motivate them further along their path. By stepping out onto the dance floor, you've already challenged your preconceptions of yourself and are trying something new, and that's an incredibly vulnerable experience. People can get paralyzed by the thoughts of rejection or being judged, but trust me: in my studio, at the very least, you're in a safe space to play and express yourself. If you can stay mindful of the small victories and encourage yourself just to keep taking those steps (dance steps) forward, you'll become more open-minded. Your fears will melt away as your self-esteem grows, which will better equip you to handle rejection and self-expression no matter where you apply yourself.
Want To Get Started on Creating a Healthier Lifestyle and Mindset?
I’ve created a FREE Guide (PDF) To Learn 3 Steps to Gain More Confidence On and Off the Dance Floor.
Click the button below, then sign up for instant access.
We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.