Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dance and Self-expression

Thanks to Tabitha Jayne, a Transformational Loss Coach, for this article on the art of dance and self-expression. She currently blogs on bereavement at She invites you to start transforming your loss and learn to live by signing up for her FREE video series on how to go 'from grief to great' at

Dance is a great way of tapping into deep emotions and connecting with yourself after loss. When I talk about dance I don't mean the kind of dancing you do on a night out with friends in a club but rather solo dancing to allow self expression. It's very hard to let yourself get caught up in music and dance with abandon to it when there are others around.

This type of dancing is not about following steps or trying to look good whilst you dance but a throwback to using dance as part of rituals and ceremonies. Think about the rain dances of Native Americans or the War Dance that the New Zealand rugby team use. Even the Highland Fling was originally created as a war dance to encourage victory before battle!

The key is the intent behind the dance. Find some music you are attracted to. Create an intention to dance with. I know that after my brother died a lot of my intentions were all about expressing my anger safely. Maybe you want to express your love, let go of pain or just tap into something you can't express.

Moving to the music in an authentic way allows you to tap into deep unnamed emotions and express them. It's not important that you don't know what they are only that you have expressed them. Dancing also boosts your immune system which is lowered after loss. This means that you are working on a physical and emotional level creating powerful internal change.

Around 40 years ago Rolando Toro, a Chilean psychologist developed Biodanza. This is a group dance experience that works on these principles. Toro created Biodanza as a way of enabling people to connect authentically with themselves and others and work towards a more happy and peaceful way of life. He realised how dance can transform us. As a side note, Toro was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 for his work with Biodanza. Impressive, no?

It can be intimidating at first to do this in a group. So start now and get comfortable with authentic expression through dance. Go to You Tube and find a song that comes to mind. Make sure you are alone and put it on loudly. Stand up and close your eyes. Listen to the music and feel it with your body. Then slowly just let your body move in its own rhythm. As you're alone you don't have to worry about looking silly. Experience how this feels. You have nothing to lose.

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