I love that I found this above image on a web search: Breathe, smile, and dance it out. Yes!
On Thursday of this past week, I’d planned to go on a solo camping excursion to a new spot a friend told me about a few days prior. As it was going to be at a lake setting, I was going to bring along my SUP board too. But Thursday morning rolled around and I wasn’t feeling it. New plan! I stayed home. I hemmed and hauled a little bit though first, telling myself things like: Summer is short here in Montana Nicole, maybe you should push yourself today and just get out there and do it. But the prevailing response I got back in return was: Nope. Don’t feel like it. So I heeded that voice instead.
I had a leisurely morning and a lovely resting period in the afternoon. And in between? Yep. I danced it out. And it was glorious!
I saddled the neighbors with really loud music cranking from our guitar amp (which I can plug my laptop into for amplification purposes of any music I so choose), shut the windows (to help abate the noise), grabbed a water bottle from the fridge, and proceeded to dance it out to some of my favorite songs. It had been long enough since last I’d done so that it served as a reminder about how much I love, love, love to dance.
I continued my dancing streak by attending Reflective Morning Movement (RMM) at the dance studio downtown on Friday morning. I’ll use the woman’s write up who puts on this offering to help explain RMM:
7:00 We arrive in silence and gather for a short sit.
7:15: Music begins, and we allow natural movement to emerge from the stillness.
8:10: Music ends and we sit together for few minutes of silence.
A bell rings to end our experience.
We leave in silence to allow each mover the gift of natural time and reflection.
We come in silence, we sit together, we dance together, we feel the music underneath the music, we feel the mercy of what it means to be in community, we listen to our fierce aliveness, we invite our wholeness, we re-member our true home in the ever-changing web of experience and feeling and thought, we move a prayer wheel of hope from within, we settle into belonging, we rest in the silence, we listen for the bell, we leave in silence.
RMM combines two of my favorite activities: dancing and sharing energy with people without the need to converse in dialog (as we enter, dance, and exit in silence). There’s no instruction or guidance offered. You come, music plays, and you move/dance however you want.
So, Thursday I danced it out in my living room. Friday morning I went to RMM. AND THEN, last night (which was still Friday by the way), I went out dancing to house music playing at a local bar downtown. I was on a roll! :) And I had a blast!
A few years back, I tried my hand (or rather my feet) at going out dancing to electro-house style music all by myself. At first, as you might imagine, it was really awkward and uncomfortable. But I was motivated to get over it, for the sake of my love of dancing to that kind of music. Over the years, I’ve gone in and out of having friends who were not only into that type of music but could also weather the whole bar scene. It’s few and far between, given the people I associate with. I’m a rather rare breed, I think. I’m someone who doesn’t drink, is usually in bed by 9:30, and is happily married – and yet, once in a while, I go out dancing to bars at night. I’m not there to drink or meet guys. I’m there to dance. I’m a rarity on the dance floor, that’s for sure.
I still have to surmount a bit of awkwardness when I arrive on scene, especially considering I’m often the first person on the dance floor, given how early I tend to show up. But it’s less and less every time I go. And going early gives me full use of the dance floor which I like, as I’m someone who dances wide :)
I had a great time out dancing on my own last night. I can show up and leave when I want, sit out the songs I’m not into, and do my own thing. And similar to RMM, I was able to revel in sharing space, energy, and a shared activity with others sans words.
I grew up taking every kind of dance class there was: ballet, tap, jazz, modern, hip hop. I loved it all. And I still do.
I’ll mention too, dancing is hell on my feet. I have a chronic nerve condition that affects primarily my feet and legs. When I get home from a night out dancing, I don’t walk so much as hobble through the front door, before collapsing into bed. It’s the price I choose to pay for doing something that brings me a great deal of nourishment and joy and serves as a powerful outlet of self-expression and release. And it’s totally worth it.