Over the last few years I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been accused of taking Ecstasy. Yes, Ecstasy, the party drug that makes people giggle and smile and love the world and dance. If you’ve ever seen me out at night in a club, you already know why.
I’m that girl dropping it low on the bar, doing backbends against a pole, and working my hips until my body collapses into a sweaty puddle on the floor. The one most people avoid out of fear of serious collision. I dance with such fervor most observers assume I’m on drugs. Usually I’m sober, tipsy at best.
While I don’t take pills, I will ecstatically dance any chance I get.
If I’m digging the reggae in the grocery store I will bounce my booty in line. I’ll shake my tree at breakfast when there’s a good beat. My sun salutations can appear more like interpretive dance than yoga flow. I take every opportunity I can to get down.
Cannot contain how much I love.
I love to dance until my hair is soaked and sticking to my face and my entire body hurts. I love to dance like I might lose my legs and arms tomorrow. I love to dance like nobody’s watching and I love to dance when everybody’s watching. I love to dance more than anything in the world.
I love to dance even more than I love to travel.
My moments of most extreme freedom haven’t been running down deserted beaches or walking barefoot in the mud or taking chicken buses through foreign countries all alone. They have been in moments when I’m deeply lost in dance.
Because when I dance, I’m in a bliss trance.
When I dance I feel my heart and the drum become one. I feel the music make love to my soul. I feel the beat and my body create an expression all their own, like I’m no more than a puppet allowing the energy to flow.
When I dance I get out of my head. I connect with sensation and feeling, I can express without thinking. As long as my body keeps moving, I know that I am still living and as long as I’m alive nothing could really be that bad.
When I dance I remember that any obstacles and any boundaries are illusions I’ve created. I am not subject to rules or expectations or limitations. I am as free as the particles that create the stars and the sky.
When I dance I can express. I can share without analyzing or labeling or misunderstanding. I can completely release whatever it is that I’m feeling. That is what makes dance so freeing and so healing.
So why is it that we frame dance in the context of being drunk in a dark room on a Saturday night with strangers? With being groped by creeps and having a bad hangover the next day? Many times I’ve sought liquid courage and stayed up all night because I needed a dance fix.
Furthermore, why do we consider dance to be something one must be “good at”? Why must we make it a performance? Why are so many people afraid to do it? Why do we feel self conscious about the way it looks or the way others respond?
Just like music and singing, dance does not come with limits, we create them.
If you’ve ever danced alone in your bedroom or in a meditation studio with your eyes closed or on the beach with no one else for miles you know that dance exists for so much more than most of us allow it to.
For the foreseeable future I’m allowing dance to be more than a sweaty activity I engage in with strangers at 2am or a performance or a quest for attention. I’m dancing for happiness. Like singing in the shower or skipping on the beach, I’m dancing to celebrate my life.
Every morning as soon as I wake up, before having a cup of tea or brushing my teeth, I am dancing. I am dancing because the fact that I woke up with the opportunity to start a new day is an absolute miracle worth celebrating. I am dancing because I want to start every day coming from a place of joy. I am dancing because it feels damn good.
I know that there will be mornings where I feel tired. Or I don’t like the music. Or I’m bored. Or a whole bunch of other excuses I might want to use to get out of doing something that I know ultimately makes me feel good. But I’m going to challenge myself to dance anyway. I know that if I keep dancing, the goodness will come.
Now I’m turning it over to you. I believe so strongly in the power of dance to lift us up and make us free, that I want to encourage you to join me. I’m inviting you to join me every morning in dance.
I dare you to dance.
If you choose to accept this challenge, you won’t be alone. Every day I’ll send you a song to dance to and some words of inspiration and encouragement. You will be part of a tribe of people all beginning their days moving their bodies to the same exact song.
So, what do you say….