As much of the world is moving so much of our social dances to online mediums, I’m noticing an increase of focus on trying new skills, solo dancing, and practice. There are groups and lessons and training and world wide challenges. But, as an instructor, I’m beginning to worry if we have gotten too serious and will cause burn out long term. So, if you are a social dancer, don’t just practice: dance!
Practice and being intentional is important, but so is having fun, enjoying and loving your moment, and having spontaneous freedom of expression.
But Grey! Dancing alone feels awkward and uncomfortable without a focus. I think this is the time to look at toddlers, as experts in the art of not giving a fuck. As we grow up we learn shame. We learn to be unwilling to do something if we aren’t great at it, to dislike our bodies, to let go of expression in order to be “adult”, but the reality is, we can let go of that narrative if we want!
The best part of being an adult is being able to choose the type of person we want to be. So, I hope you all join me in dancing for the fun of it, and let go of trying to be “perfect”. If you’ve never tried to dance just for fun, alone, it may feel weird at first. No matter what your style is I suggest starting with music that moves you. For many people that’s what they listened to growing up, the music from their teens, at dances. And when in doubt disco or funk gets everyone moving.
Close the door and clear a space, while the music plays. Maybe make dinner and pick up. You’ll notice yourself to start nodding along, toe tapping, and falling into muscle memory as you are distracted. Put on some good clothes that make you feel either cozy or attractive (or both, ya know do you). Grab a drink you love, (alcohol is not a need) and have fun. Don’t be afraid to rewind, to laugh and try weird stuff. Try the silliness you never feel like you can do during your normal dancing. Create random challenges. Do the cheesiest dance you can think of and just enjoy the music and the movement.
When in doubt, you can do a dance from Hitch, two step, fist pump or do the chicken dance in time. Play around with different characters, pretend you are someone else you know. The options are endless, as long as you don’t judge yourself. If you have others living with you, consider creating a collaboration playlist that you only can add songs to. Or trade songs. Chat and see what your friends are doing during this.
Essentially, it’s important to not lose the joy of dance during this. Dance is meant to be expressive, fun, and a way to just be present and move. There is a time to learn, a time to practice, and a time to dance!