Meaning Mondays: Dancing with Heart

You can dance anywhere, even if only in your heart.

~Author Unknown

As you may recall, last Monday found me doing a lazy dance across my bare kitchen floor.

And a few weeks ago, I wrote about the Four Healing Salves: Singing, Storytelling, Silence, and…drum roll please…DANCING!

Clearly, something’s in the air. Or at least, something’s in my feet. Well, OK, let’s say in my body. Because we all know we don’t just dance with our feet, right?

Anyway, it turns out I love the four questions that Angeles Arrien suggests we ask ourselves about singing, storytelling, silence, and dancing. And of late I’ve been exploring this one:


I’m captured by the complexity of this question. On the surface it seems so simple: Where in your life?

As in, where were you in your life when you stopped dancing? Was it when you started juggling work and family and no longer had the time? Or did an injury intervene that kept you on the sidelines? Maybe you vowed never to dance again when a supposed “friend” told you that you moved just like Elaine on Seinfeld?

Whatever it was, it’s a question worth asking.

Personally, I remember black leotards and modern dance in high school. Outbursts of solo spontaneous movement in the dry desert of Arizona, where I went to college. Silly strutting and swaying through the living room for no apparent reason as I got older.

And I admit, somewhat sheepishly, there’s been less of that as the years have passed. I’m not sure why. Life getting in the way, I suppose. But just thinking about it pushes me forward, as I wobble towards one of my favorite questions: Why not start now? Or in this case, start again?

Because why not trip the light fantastic whenever we can? It’s easy, assuming we have the capacity to move our limbs. But even if we don’t, our bodies still possess the desire to dance. Just consider what Anna Halprin did with a group of 50 older adults, when she created a memorable rocking chair dance.

So yes, all of this is very good. But it’s merely the curtain raiser. Believe me, behind the scenes there’s a lot more action going on with this question:


The question begs us to look in the wings for other metaphorical questions. Questions that speak to emotion and energy and essence.

Where did you stop dancing with your creative force, with possibility and imagination?

Where did you stop dancing with the power of play?

Where did you stop dancing in your interactions with the ones you love?

All of us (even those who strive to make meaning) can become disconnected from our inner metaphorical dancers, those sprites who travel in the flow of life. Those delicate creatures who need care and attention.

Because in this world we come up against disillusionment and overwhelm. We live the same day over and over again. Our metaphorical dancers lose their way. And our bodies become vessels of trapped feelings and emotions, and who knows what to do with all of that?

We read about the importance of feeling our emotions, but how do we actually do that?


Well, as it turns out, I need to get back to you on that. I’ll be out of town this week (an unexpected trip), so please waltz by next Monday for part two of this post, where I’ll share a dance ritual that I’ve been experimenting with.

And comments are closed, because I know you’re just aching to go dance from your heart right this minute!




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