by Angela Perin, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
In my life, dancing has been something I’ve attempted, but never really ‘got’. I remember ‘trying’ to get it at the high-school discos – trying to get my body to do the fancy and smooth moves that I saw some of my friends do; trying to exude the confidence that some of them had appeared to master – never missing a beat and technically faultless. The point is, I always felt somewhat awkward. There was something not quite right, and I never felt like I could really let go…
Of course there were the odd flashing moments when I didn’t feel this awkwardness – such as dancing in the privacy of my own bathroom or bedroom (quickly brought to an embarrassing halt when I realised someone was watching!), but this was not consistent. So I settled for imagining what it would be like to dance with absolute freedom and joy, almost (as the saying goes) as if ‘no-one was watching’…
In my high school years, there were the odd (and very brief) moments of connection (when my body and head were on the same page), but mostly I was ‘trying’ in my head to ‘pre-think’ the move and get something together, and the truth was, my body just wasn’t following the instructions! Although on the outside I probably didn’t look as awkward as I felt (I still had some mastery of beat and rhythm), I knew that the way I danced was not totally comfortable… there was still an awareness of not feeling totally comfortable in my body, and I was subtly aware that there was ‘effort’ required to get the moves, which just didn’t seem natural, and felt forced – even when from the outside, they may have looked ok.
In my 20’s and 30’s, the only time I really felt comfortable dancing was after a few (or a lot of) drinks. The alcohol seemed to give me a sense of confidence that I didn’t have otherwise, but looking back – even then, I was aware that I didn’t feel ‘me’… Even though I felt more outwardly confident with my dance moves, they were over-exaggerated (to the point of being plain silly/ridiculous at times). It simply didn’t really feel like it was ‘me’ dancing, and I felt a very strong sense of having to put on a display and show off (which I must add, I had mastered quite well!). Overall, I could feel there was a disconnection from me when I danced under the influence of alcohol, so I can’t really say ‘I’ owned the dancing or felt ‘in’ or ‘with’ my body.
So the feeling of actually dancing just for me was something that largely eluded me through most of my life, and to be honest, I hadn’t really given it any further thought until a few weeks ago…
Now, imagine what it would feel like to be in a large group of people that were all dancing for themselves but with everyone else at the same time? Imagine if there was no alcohol and no drugs, no-one trying or needing to out-compete or out-dance the other, and no-one judging or comparing another’s dance moves. In fact, what if you had people actually celebrating each other’s dance moves? Not by way of “Oh no, you’re ‘better’ than me”, but “Wow, I’m inspired by you”. And – what if there was nothing to prove or achieve (as in getting recognition) by this dancing? What if it was simply a natural expression and way of celebration?
Impossible you say? I say not.
The end of year Universal Medicine concert and dance celebration at Lennox Head on 15th December 2012 was absolute confirmation to me that dancing has nothing to do with ‘proving’ anything: it is not about showing off, comparison, judgment or envy, and it is definitely not about how many people are watching you, or having ‘better’ or more technically advanced or coordinated dance moves than another.
I experienced (in myself and in observing others) that dancing can be a celebration of who you truly are.
In the case of last weekend, the dancing was truly amazing, full of vitality, and absolute fun and joy! What I felt was an expression of a group of people celebrating themselves and each other. There was no ‘hype’ or ‘prep’ or artificial stimulus (i.e. alcohol, drugs etc.) for people to get in the mood – the dance was simply a natural extension of the amazing presentations and concert that had preceded the dance. And because of this, there was no ‘let down’ or ‘regret’ at the end of the dance and there was no ‘high’ to come down from.
For me, I realised at the end, that although I had stopped dancing, (by that stage I felt, [like I’m sure many others did!] that it was time for a shower and bed…), I didn’t stop being ‘me’, and that’s why I continued to feel amazing after the dancing stopped. I didn’t feel less or more of me because of the dancing – I simply felt like me.
I never understood until this particular weekend what it truly meant to dance for, and dance with, me. My deepest thanks to Serge Benhayon, his family and Universal Medicine – not only for organising such an awesome end of year celebration, but for presenting, and inspiring by living example, the consistent commitment to re-connect to the body, and to allow the possibility for all expression (including dance) to come from that connection.
I say… bring on the celebrations of 2013!