How dancing can help you heal in Corona times

Dancing helps lift spirits, raise energy levels, and maintain mental health as self-isolation becomes a way of life.

 |  4-minute read |   07-08-2020
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To most, dance is a form of expression and art. However, what most people do not know, is that it also connects people as it works as a social tool. Dance heals and can serve as a form of meditation.

Celebration of the Self

Dance as a form of expression instills self-confidence and self-belief in people. As you navigate through the sound, something magical happens and you find an inner voice that is truly you. Whether you are dancing in a group or alone, at that moment there is a sense of exuberance and celebration of the self. Dance also initiates personal growth and helps a person unfold his/her inner potential.

People partake in social dancing classes to learn a new skill, but what they unknowingly get out of these dance classes is a lot more than that. They learn how to be comfortable in their own skin. And what's better for that than starting within the four walls of your room during the lockdown, where you can be yourself — wholly and completely — and then get comfortable doing the same around others.

Dance may start within these walls, but it will penetrate all areas of their life — be it in a meeting room (even Zoom) where it can be found in the form of a confident presentation, or in adolescents who grow up to be hard-working individuals as their self-esteem improves. Through dance, people learn self-acceptance and self-love. They find who they are and what they're made of. Then there's no stopping them from reaching their goals.

main_ballet-dance_re_080720074451.jpegWhen you dance, you are living in the moment rather than worrying about the uncertainties that come with the pandemic. (Photo: Reuters)

The best workout routine

Dance as an exercise is in itself necessary as workouts help oil the body and the mind. It is not just a physical thing. The mind is free when the body is in motion. And that's what is needed in such trying times when stress levels due to the Covid situation have hit the roof. And one may not need to work out all the time, but just dance so that they feel good and enjoy the movement.

Dance could give a person the much-needed freedom even under lockdown. Those who dance, lose a sense of time as they're so engrossed in the activity and movement. Nothing stirs them as they are living in the present moment and they lose themselves to just ‘being’ rather than worrying about the uncertainties that come with the pandemic. Dance also brings people together, even during social-isolation. Being in a group class can sometimes make a person feel as if they are dancing with others as they get lost in movement and the music. Watching others move to the same beat as oneself can bring a feeling of togetherness despite the physical distance. Dance truly unites people.

Fall, and rise again

Learning to dance and dancing alone may not be easy initially, but it is worth learning a dance which does not require you to have a partner right off the bat. I would suggest people who have some time to try jazz, ballet or contemporary — pick up one and walk baby steps to see what it does to your body and mind. Be prepared to fall a few times when you learn to balance in a passé, feel awkward in your first isolation. Look at dance as a skill, something that can get you the social nod once the lockdown is full out. Learn steps, styles, terms, know about routines and pick up a routine that you can perfect as a singular dancer, and maybe show your talent off at the next physical party you attend. Or just dance because you like to and have always wanted to.

Dance is liberation

Dance is an art form that liberates a person and can truly heal an individual. Dance is a therapy for the anxious, stressed, restless and even a sick individual. The physical activity releases certain chemicals which improve the functioning of the physical body and brain, and the spiritual experience of the movement in itself has so many benefits for the 'self' that one can go on talking about it. The entire concept of the self and the mindset of a person changes positively.

Dancing helps lift spirits, raise energy levels, and maintain mental health, as self-isolation becomes a way of life. I believe that you can dance your way to a good life.

Also Read: What makes Kathak popular among Germans


Ashley Lobo Ashley Lobo @_ashleylobo

The writer is an acclaimed international dance choreographer and teacher.

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