From ballet to daddy daughter dances to high school homecoming to my first zumba class … dancing has come in and out of my life since I was a little girl. With every passing year, I start to become more in tune with my truest self. With that personal growth comes a lot of hard work, soul searching and deep healing. Dancing is one of the ways I have learned to deal with stress/anxiety, appreciate my body and build my confidence.
Music has always been central to my life – from playing piano to taking up the drums in high school, I’ve always had a love for rhythm and melody. In college, I tried out my first zumba class and I fell in love with dancing. Zumba fused my passion for the flow, pattern & pulse of rhythms from music from all over the world.
Dancing & The Soul
Allowing myself to be fully free in dance was one of the first times since my diagnosis that I felt myself mending my relationship with my body. Moving and celebrating my body has transformed my body image and my confidence. Dancing allows me to be fully vulnerable & express my self the way I am in each present moment. Believe it or not, I went from a shy timid kid to a woman who is almost always the first one out on the dance floor.
Dancing is very much a spiritual thing for me – feeling the beats of the music – connecting with the artist – being in flow with the lyrics… it is a way for me to practice mindfulness and live life fully immersed in the present moment.
“Consciousness expresses itself through creation. This world we live in is the dance of the creator. Dancers come and go in the twinkling of an eye but the dance lives on. On many an occasion when I am dancing, I have felt touched by something sacred. In those moments, I felt my spirit soar and become one with everything that exists.”
Dancing & Body Image
Over the past few years I’ve struggled with a very *complicated and unhealthy* relationship with my body. After being diagnosed with a chronic illness in 2015, my body has changed in so many ways. I was used to being an athlete in high school – running and playing tennis every day for hours and doing it all over again the next day.
My life is very different now and acceptance of that is something I still struggle with. Dealing with autoimmune flares makes for a very unpredictable life and body. Each day is very different. Some days I can walk 5 miles like it’s nothing and other times, I am in bed for 4-5 days straight. My body looks and feels a lot different since it did when I was a teenager and that is one thing I have come to work on and work through.
I gained a good amount of weight after I started getting sick and I had a hard time seeing my body change. I started developing extremely unhealthy eating habits and filled my mind with negative self-talk. I hated my body. I hated the whole of my being. I had a hard time going out in public let alone looking at the mirror in my room. The poor body image I developed started to break apart my life from the inside-out.
The reality is that I had to break down all of the lies I told myself about my body or how it *should* be (according to the BS body “rules” in the media). I re-learned how to love my body – how to feel each beat of the drum in my soul and to fill every inch of my bones and flesh with nothing but love and acceptance. I can now let myself run to the dance floor, allowing myself to be fully who I am and expressing that to the world around me. When you allow yourself to be seen and take up space – it truly is a beautiful, spiritual experience.
Movin’ & Groovin’
One of the best parts of moving to music is how it has helped me become one with my physical body. Dancing has helped me appreciate my curves and fall into the beauty of moving and being. 🙏🏼❤️ Every time I need a lil’ pick me up (or a good 15 min of sweating), I turn on the groovy lights in my room, blast my fav dance playlist & get movin’. I encourage you to spend time moving and getting to know and appreciate your body – we only have one 🙂 Sending peace and love to all!
My daily dance playlist is linked below for anyone interested!
*featured image from Unsplash