- Written by Anna Grace, Springhouse Learner -
Dance has always helped me with hard things. I've enjoyed various types of dance, but nothing compares to my current relationship with it.
When I was little I used to take dance lessons. I used to be a part of every ballet, jazz, and hip-hop dance recital there was, until it turned into a competitive atmosphere. As a child, dancing and performing gave me the sensation of silliness, and, as I got older, the feeling grew to be a sense of freedom and independence. At the end of the day, I would be sore and my muscles were aching, and I felt as if I had accomplished great things.
I wanted to make a future in dance, but when the idea of competing came into the picture, it made me feel self-conscious. It was uninspiring when I was called to the front of the class so my teacher could analyze my pirouette to see if it was “perfect” enough. The happiness dance made me feel soon disappeared. I didn't want to be “perfect” or forced to get that one dance routine exactly to my teachers standards. I wanted to feel perfect for myself.
After years of not dancing, I was introduced to Sacred Dance, inspired by Gabrielle Roth’s Five Rhythms, at Springhouse Community School. Sacred Dance is not about learning steps and retaining them. This dance is a practice of exploring how far you can go, physically and emotionally. It has brought that happiness and freedom back into dance for me. This practice allowed all my emotions to be present on the dance floor. While I am spinning around, letting my arms go, feeling the rhythm in my hips, and moving faster than I thought I could, no one is making sure it’s “perfect.” Dancing like this made me feel perfect for myself. Looking around seeing my fellow classmates be their true selves only allowed me to feel more freedom as well as inspire me to find that happy girl I used to be on the dance floor.
When I find myself faced with the challenges in my life I often use this practice; it's not only for the dance floor but in my everyday life. That is the beauty of it. Sacred Dance helps me work with my emotions instead of fight with them. With this tool, I feel like I can get through anything.