Join Lisa for this brief 4 minute reflection about the importance of dancing to our own rhythm in life.
"The more we appear to be dancing or “doing” on the outside, the less we truly dance inside. The age clock ticks loudly as it threatens to run out and sets off an alarm as we race against time to “dance as much as we can” before our bodies fail us. "
The Syncopated Rhythm of Life
Growing up as a young dancer in Canada, I loved performing but was especially drawn to teaching. I began doing just that at a very young age. Not because I was any kind of an expert but because I wanted to - I needed to -lead.
In the studio, I regularly found myself saying things like “the journey is the thing” to my students and teaching them that although it was important to have the technical aspects under their belt; dancing wasn’t something that could be taught - only released.
We all know how to dance.
If you are thinking ‘oh this one’s about dance and I’m not a dancer’ WAIT! There is a distinction to be made here and I hope that you'll find it valuable. 💜🙏
I repeat. We all know how to dance. We are all dancers. The important thing is to understand whether we are dancing as a means to an end, or if we are in sync with our own rhythm.
Who among us has not found themselves “doing the dance” in a relationship with a boss or a partner, or a friend? Carefully choreographing each move so we don’t step on any toes?
How many of us identify with “dancing to someone else’s tune”, feeling controlled or stuck and losing ourselves in the process?
And we’ve all experienced “dancing on air” after we’ve booked a gig, got a promotion or had our first kiss.
As dancers we “train” ourselves on the mechanics of “how” - and often, the better we get (think: number of pirouettes, how high we leap) the further we fall away from the essence of what dance is and can be, and why we were called to dance in the first place.
It’s no different in our civilian lives, performing the dance as a means to show up in a certain way for our audience/company , our teachers/bosses, our friends or cast mates.
The more we appear to be dancing or “doing” on the outside, the less we truly dance inside. The age clock ticks loudly as it threatens to run out and sets off an alarm as we race against time to “dance as much as we can” before our bodies fail us.
Living in a cacophony of shoulds, it becomes difficult to hear the beautiful music that plays inside of all of us, to discern the melody that is uniquely our own. Therein lies the essence of what it really means to dance.
From my perspective as a professional dancer, I'm starting to realize something new about the reason why I dance and what it means to me.
Dancing takes lifelong mastery, and isn’t something that I will ever feel a master of. However, it has led me to understand and connect to the infinite pursuit of Life Mastery. And it is there that I'm spending more time in the studio. The studio of my mind, the studio of my heart, and the studio of my values. Where I am the student as well as the teacher. Where the absence of ideas, creates space for new ones to grow and I improvise to the syncopated rhythms of life.
And so I leave you with the words Martha Graham of a true master of the dance:
“All that is important is this one moment in movement. Make the moment important, vital, and worth living. Do not let it slip away unnoticed and unused.”
― Martha Graham
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."― Friedrich Nietzsche:
“Every day brings a chance for you to draw in a breath, kick off your shoes, and dance.”
― Oprah Winfrey