The Dance for Myself
I close my eyes as my arms languish up in the air of their own accord. My hips glide – unfettered – to a beat that only I can hear. I am free, and unbridled. My darkened tresses tickle the small of my back as I throw my head back and twirl in sheer abandonment. A secretive smile plays upon my lips as I enjoy the feeling of dancing in the wild. It’s almost as if I have surrendered my conscious self to a higher power and entered into the body of a forgotten goddess. She guides me in my moves and I am happy in my temporary divinity.

Over the exotics beats of the bass, I hear a small giggle and realize that I had forgotten to close the door to my bedroom. My five-year-old smiles at me from the crack in the door and then runs away, presumably to tell daddy that he caught mommy dancing again while cleaning the house. I laugh in return and pretend to give chase before continuing on with the vacuuming.

The Benefits of Dancing
Dancing has been part of the human race since the earliest of recorded times – and beyond. It is something that does not have to be taught to us. Within each person resides the ability to move to rhythm in a way that makes them feel good. Of course, there are particular dances that are more popular and thousands venture to learn them, but dancing in general does not need to be taught. It doesn’t matter if it is a beautiful couple waltzing across a polished dance floor or a mother tapping her foot while humming to an unknown tune. They are all forms of expression and are unique to each person.

So why have so many people stopped?

Dancing has so many benefits for both the mind and the body. It helps reduce weight and stress, increases flexibility, makes friends and improves romantic relationships. It also helps with muscle toning, flexibility, posture, balance, decreasing the probability of dementia, kinesthetic awareness, mood, and so much more.

Different Forms of Dancing
There is no way that I’ll be able to list all of the formal types of dances, but I’ll try to hit up some of the more popular forms. As I have stated before, formal dance is not a necessity. It is just a suggestion for those that want to try it out. I would love to try out formal dance (if I had more free time), but until I get the chance to do so I will happily dance in my own originally outrageous style. 

 Ballet, waltz, rhumba, barn dances, contras, Bollywood, breakdancing, square dancing, cat daddy, calypso, cheerleading, chicken dance, court dance, conga, cupid shuffle, disco, electric slide, fan dance, flamenco, foxtrot, freestyle, Gangnam style, Harlem shake, hand jive, hula, hustle, ice dancing, Irish dancing, interpretive dance, modern dance, jazz, Japanese traditional dance, crumping, Latin dance, line dance, Macarena, Persian dance, quick step, reggae, salsa, tango, and so much more.

The Magic of Dancing
When I think of dancing in the past, I love to envision a gypsy fire at the beach on a warm summer night. The breeze is filled with the aromas of sea lavender and ocean air mixed with the exotic scent of the smoldering fire. A merry group of men and women sit around it with various instruments as a lone girl dances near the center. The shadows of her dance cast beautiful shapes across the revelers as she spins and laughs to the beat of the song. The dancing within this image conjures up happiness, sensuality, and comradery.

The same can be true about today’s society. Can you remember a time when you were at a dance club, family gathering, festival, etc. and just danced without caring what people thought? How did you feel?

PicturePhoto by Joe Russo of fstopdown
Special Ways to Dance
Everyone is different, but I would love to share some unique ways that I dance to add magic back into everyday life. I can’t explain it but it makes me feel amazing and I promise you, I am not that good of a dancer. I’m the girl that has been told on countless occasions to “stay in my box” and “keep it simple” for dancing. Regardless, I still love to dance. It is empowering and amazing.

-Honestly, one of the most romantic things that I love to do is to cook a meal with some international music playing through my kitchen speakers. I will dance in my kitchen until my husband will come along and begin to waltz with me – or slow dance. Neither one of us has ever taken professional lessons but we get by with the general dance moves, and it feels amazing.

-As I have stated at the beginning of this blog, I will close the door sometimes to whatever room I am cleaning and start to dance my heart out. Usually I like to listen to Belly dance music on my headphones while I do this (Shakira rocks my Spotify list) but other times I’ll be blasting 80s Freestyle or something similar and upbeat. Not only does it make the cleaning more enjoyable, it also gives me a workout and an ego boost to boot.

-This is the same as cleaning except I usually will listen to fight songs and/or techno. I find that it keeps my heart rate up between reps and puts me in a great mood.

-I don’t need music at all for this. I just like to dance in the rain, especially when it is one of those rare summer days where the water is warm and you feel like you are in your own little world. I have even pulled my son outside and danced with him in the rain on several occasions. So far he has not questioned my unique hobby and just joins in the revelry with laughter.

-Every so often, I’ll pull up to a stop light and hear music radiating from a car nearby. When the occupant(s) is(are) busting a move to a song that they love, I just can’t help but smile in happiness. I also love to sing my heart out while throwing up one hand and scooching my bum from left to right in my seat (while still following all of the driving laws, of course). It makes the car ride that much more entertaining and sets you up in a great mood for when the drive is over.

-It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Some of the coolest dances are those done in sheer happiness. The little dance we do while eating our favorite foods, the infamous signature dances done in football after a touchdown, and the dance of joy we do when something makes us particularly excited are all wonderful examples of the fun mini goal dances out there.

In Conclusion
It doesn’t matter what your style is or how you do it, dancing is a magical thing that brightens the mood and transcends time. I definitely recommend making a CD, playlist, mix tape, radio station, etc. that is filled with wonderful songs that will get you grooving and keep it someplace for easy access on those days where you just need a little more to the day. Dancing is wonderful to watch and more amazing to do yourself (or with others). If you have other places/ideas for dancing, please share it because I am always looking for more wonderful examples on when to bust my moves.

“Dance is the hidden language of the Soul.” 
-Martha Graham

“I could not adequately describe the way dance makes me feel. It is as though I had somehow found a way to sever the chords holding me to earth and for a moment, if only a fraction of a second, I can fly.”



Copyright Melissa Damon