The spiral growth systems blog

What Dance Taught Me About Life

There’s nothing like it.

The feeling of floating across the dance floor, my feet intricately stepping in the moment of one undulating beat after another, my body moving freely with the music as my feet bring my body to the precise location where the next move flows through me like magic, feeling the gentle nudge of my partner’s fingers guiding my entire body to the next fulfilling expression, moving in perfect synchronization with another person through a knowing that only the connection of the body can express… planting one foot firmly in perfect timing with the music as I’m guided into a vortex of spins, my body perfectly aligned with the balance of gravity that takes me into a blissful state of movement. Everything inside of me gets stirred up like magic stirring rapidly in a pot to create divine explosion.

My love of dance has given me a recognition for life. Music, the fullness of expression in the body, human connection, and the playfulness that’s available through it all, have brought me to new heights of love and gratitude for the human experience.

But, as I’ve discovered, it’s so much more than this.

In the beginning, it wasn’t so easy.

In the beginning, I had to face fears of not-enoughness in my expression.

In the beginning, I had to confront the parts of me that wanted to push and make things harder than they needed to be.

In the beginning, I had to learn to be with myself through the parts that were seeking perfection, and surrender to the imperfection required to get there.

In the beginning, I had to go through the struggle with the many parts of my mind and body that refused to let go of control, encountering layer upon layer until that need for control was killed off and I entered a space where I could follow the guidance of another in perfect flow of my own expression.

This last piece was perhaps the hardest.

As humans, we long to be in our own unique expression… but we also long to remember the oneness that connects us to each other, the masculine and feminine expression each finding its own perfect balance on the line between offering up and receiving, individuating and surrendering into the unity of connection.

As a woman who jumped face first into the pool of unique individual expression from a very young age, spending years upon years peeling away the barriers to being in the fullness of her own power and expression, learning to follow the lead of another was one of the hardest things I’ve done.

My inclination for back-leading (exerting back guidance to your partner, and unconsciously ignoring the guidance he is trying to give you in that same moment) was subconscious. With anything we work to shift within ourselves, there can be an opposite end of the spectrum we risk going into. Through our fight to become more of this, we may also unknowingly become too much of that.

And through dance, I discovered that my fight for individuation and taking back my power had also led me into a place where I was unable, on a very visceral level, to surrender to the lead of another.

Discovering this was frustrating. Because once I was ready to see what was holding me back, the cognitive awareness still didn’t change the imprinting in my mind and body that was subconsciously causing me to want to control.

The conscious effort I made to let go of control did eventually bring me to a new space in my dancing; to a new level where the fluidity and flow in the dance reverberated through my being as I finally, truly, allowed another to guide me across the dance floor.

The most amazing part, though, wasn’t the added joy it brought to the time I spent dancing — it was the added joy it brought to every other aspect of my life.

They say yoga is a practice that begins on the mat but represents every aspect of your life and being off the mat. I wholeheartedly believe this, and have found dance to be the same.

And as I took the surrender, the letting go, and the ability I was finding to let life lead me off of the dance floor and into my daily experience, I found an expanded version of life. The magic that was able to unfold in my life grew, similar to the way a dance became more fun and joyful when I learned to just let go and follow the lead.

As I learned to do so, I found a greatness in my own unique and individual expression that I couldn’t have found by trying to exert my expression through a space of control. It was as if the space I created around me through letting go gave me more room for freedom, more room to be all of me — more room to even know who “me” was in that expression.

Though I stopped dancing seriously years ago, the path of letting go it set me on makes me a better dancer. Though I may not be as skilled as I was when I was rehearsing and performing, when it was a focal point of my life, dance set me on a path of freedom.

This freedom and trust — in my own expression, and the expression of another — integrates itself every time I come back to the dance floor, bringing me to new heights of ecstasy in my own being, ecstasy in the flow of movement, music, and connection.

Life is an expression of ourselves as the divine. And, if we allow it to be, everything we get to do in this human experience can bring us closer to the divine within ourselves.

What do you love to do that reflects and brings you closer knowing yourself as an expression of the divine? We’d love to hear in the comments below or in our private Facebook group Soulful Brilliance!

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