Something I have realised lately, or should I say I have been reminded of, is that I really really really love to dance. During my last year in junior school, at the age of 12, all the girls in grade 6 and 7 were told to report to the school hall. They then gave us each a long silk scarf, put some music on and told us to dance. Although the request was odd, I just intuitively started to move. I had no previous dance experience, no dance lessons whatsoever, but I danced my little heart out swaying to and fro whilst swirling the scarf up and down and round and round. I had no specific moves, I just seemed to instinctively know how to move my body to the music. The best bit of it all was I was blissfully unaware of my surroundings. Little did I know that the school wanted to put a dance display together and that this was an audition. I was picked as part of the group and made the lead dancer!
It wasn’t the last time I was picked to lead at something ‘to do with music’ either. When I was 13 I went to Music Camp, it was something my brothers and I did every year, it was like a Summer Camp but different in the sense that it was all about music. We sang, we rehearsed for musicals, we played instruments and we danced. Well that year, I was picked to be the lead singer in a musical, I was also picked as the lead dancer. The other ‘instrument’ I loved to play was a tambourine, but not the kind that you just hit against your legs. We were taught how to do specific moves and tricks, it was an art form all of its own. Attached to our tambourines were ribbons. One year we did a tambourine display where we had to attach white ribbons to our tambourines, they turned off all the lights and put on ultraviolet lights at the edge of the stage so all you saw moving in the dark were the white ribbons, it was spectacular! My mom used to play the tambourine, amongst other things like playing the guitar, the piano and she used to sing as well. She used to run tambourine classes and started teaching me from the age of 6. I still recall I was the only little person learning as the group consisted of only grown-up women. I loved it!
As I write this, looking back I cannot actually believe that that was me. What I find really interesting is that there were two versions of me at that age; the child that felt dreadfully uncomfortable in high school and tried her utmost to be invisible; and the confident child-leader in the church. Although I am now anti religion, I have to say that growing up in a church environment surrounded by like-minded people gave you a sense of belonging. You always had a tribe, a clan, a bunch of people that had similar goals and a similar vision and therefore you felt like you could just be yourself. Up until this very moment I have never thought about it in that way as over the years I have been to focussed on recovering from the damage that religion created to my sense of self worth and self value.
Coming back to dancing, I have always liked dancing and moving my body and lately I long to do more of it.
As I have become more and more comfortable in my 40+ skin, I have found that my dancing skills have come back. Every time a great song comes on, I get up and move, I dance my heart out. I have even found that I have started doing it no matter where I am, whether it’s in a shop, in my car or walking down the street, I just don’t seem to care who is around, I just move, it feels fantastic! Dancing instantly makes me feel energised and happy, so much so, that it has become part of my morning ritual. I am not a runner nor an aerobics-bunny type of girl. My form of exercise is rebounding (jumping on a small trampoline) which I love and using some weights. Now I have added in some dance moves, sometimes dancing on my re-bounder. Oh the joy, it is so much fun, I can see why children love jumping on trampolines so much. Anyway….. all I can say is this, don’t knock it until you try it, it is wonderfully energising and ‘happyfying’ (my new word for happy and satisfying). GO and try it, I’m sure you will love it x