I have been listening to that song by Daft Punk a lot lately. It’s called “Lose Yourself to Dance”. Mostly I just love the beat…but the words really got into me recently. Got into me to the point that they have become my personal mantra. What does it really mean to lose yourself to dance?
I mean…really…..lose…..yourself….to dance. For me personally and in the best moments, it means transcending my ego mind so that I am in an experience of just being. I am not thinking, doing, worrying, future tripping or obsessing about the past. I am free. Spending even twenty minutes thoughtlessly swaying, twirling and gyrating my hips can shift a shitty day into a better day. Going to dance class and focusing solely on doing the best plie, on using my turn-out muscles, on remembering and effortlessly dancing the combination can line me right back up with myself. It not only strengthens my body, it charges my soul. Hands down, the happiest and most free moments of my life have been when I am dancing.
Move your body = move your emotions = move your thoughts. Through just about every challenging experience in my life, I have lost myself to dance in order to process & move my emotions as well as raise my endorphins. For example, there’s nothing like flailing, stomping and shaking rhythmically to a percussive tribal song in a hot sweaty ecstatic dance to move anger out. I remember navigating my parent’s divorce as a thirteen year old and finding such solace in dancing by myself in the basement to my favorite pop songs. It was just me and the music in an angst-ridden duet. I have lost myself to dance in an expression of pure joy and have let go of inertia, boredom and frustration in the process. I have released and prayed and played like a child on the dance floor. In short, moving my body through dance is what I do to stay healthy- emotionally, spiritually and physically.
May my words inspire you to start adding dance into YOUR self-care toolkit. There are so many ways this could look. You don’t need to be a dancer-dancer or have had taken ballet classes when you were a kid. None of that really matters if your goal is to really….lose….yourself…to…dance.
Here are 5 possible ways you could dance yourself into joy and freedom:
- Put on your favorite four songs and dance in your living room for 10 minutes. This is especially effective if you have to sit down and focus on a mental task (like writing this post).
- Try out a local dance class in your area that interests you. Here are some types of classes: Modern, ballet, African, contact improvisation, authentic movement, hip hop, Zumba, Social Dancing
- Find an exercise/dance class on Youtube
- Look up what DJ or band is playing on Friday night and get a dance posse together and go dancing.
- BONUS TIP!
Watch this video. Guaranteed, you will be inspired to get moving!