Dance Like Nobody's Watching
You might not realise it yet, but you love to dance. And I mean loooooooove to dance. Maybe you just haven't heard the right song yet, or been in the right environment to really feel cozy with getting down. And really, that just means being really comfy with yourself. I used to be so self conscious that all I could do was a little head bob or a little knee and hip wiggle. I remember the first time that I really enjoyed dancing. It was a Led Zeppelin tribute band concert. I had a few drinks. Ok, a LOT of drinks. And good company helps too. I saw that band like three more times.
It's been a slow evolution, and a very awkward one. I guess it takes a bit of growing pains to really fit into your skin. I'm still not comfortable enough to go to gigs by myself, and if my friends wander off to get drinks, I'm keenly aware of being by myself. But I try not to let it stop me anymore.
I also don't drink anymore, not more than a "one drink occasionally". And that's opened up a whole other world of personal growth, to be able to enjoy myself uninhibited without the aid of liquid courage. It takes time, and perseverance, and you have to really want it, but I have to say it's been one of the best solutions for overcoming social anxiety and boosting confidence for me. I heard someone referring to the strategy as; feeling what makes you most uncomfortable and running towards it wholeheartedly, instead of running away from it. Challenging and uncomfortable but it works!
I've always loved music, and always felt that I must love dancing, I could feel it in me, it just didn't like to come out in front of other people. So starting at home by yourself is a good option. You know what to do, your body knows what to do. It's just all the outside things getting in the way. Your body wants to dance. Your body is designed to move, so movement as therapy makes sense. And when you actually start dancing like nobody's watching (cause maybe nobody is), the stuff that comes out of you is truly amazing. It's liberating, scary, painful, beautiful, all of these things and so much more.
The most substantial growth for me has been attending dance therapy classes, or as my local guru calls it – Dancing Freedom. It's a guided movement to music therapy where the facilitator takes you through all five elements; Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether. It's dancing freedom but there is safety and comfort in the structure and guidance provided by the facilitator. The lights are dim and the atmosphere is cosy. There are other people there, but nobody is actually watching. And for me the freedom came when I realised I was dancing in front of people and not caring at all. And then the relief, oh the relief of not caring! It's a meditation, a practice of being present in the moment and connecting with your body, mind, and soul. Just being, in complete and total uninhibited bliss.
Since I've been in the outback I've really missed those classes, but I've found a few moments of jiggy therapy on my own too. Usually when I just can't stand it anymore. “It” being the sadness/anger/depression/anxiety/stress/grief - any emotion that becomes overwhelming. I often don't even have to understand what's causing the emotion, and the dancing just makes it ALLLLLLL better.
Emotions have a tendency to get stuck in the body. I know you skeptics out there are rolling your eyes, but think about it. There they are, if you are feeling them, they are inside of you, not floating around in the icloud. Just give yourself a lil shake and out they come =)
Being a yoga teacher I've gotten pretty good at dealing with stress and don't usually let things get to me. But I'm still human of course (and have not been practicing enough!), and one day last week I was feeling all kinds of everything coming from everywhere and I just had to get out of it. So I drove down to the cliffs – the Great Australian Bight – and it was a windy moody day and I cranked up the music and just got silly and jiggy'd it on outta me. Worked like a charm. And for your viewing pleasure, I was caught in the act, and lucky for you I'm willing to be embarrassed for your entertainment! Enjoy. Xx.
I must give credit to my dear friend Tarnie Blint for guiding me in her dancing freedom classes, and for giving me lots of music ideas! If you're in the Torquay area on a Thursday night you must drop in to class.
My make yaself move playlist (bit of a random mixture here, a lil something for everyone):
Cry To Me by Solomon Burke
Into the Groove by Madonna
Titanium by David Guetta and Sia
Let the Rhythm Just by The Polish Ambassador
Going Up the Country by Kitty, Daisy and Lewis
Couldn't Believe by Broods
Oblivion by Grimes
Hello Miss Lonesome by Marlon Williams
Makeba by Jain
Robo Booty by Opiuo
Superfreak by Rick James
Shake it Out by Florence and the Machine
You and Me by Disclosure (Flume Reminx)
The Buzz by Hermitude
Sierra Leone by Mt Eden
Or click here for this playlist on Spotify