Dancing is Food for the Soul


Last week I heard a woman say, “I wish I could dance. It looks like so much fun.” As my 11 year old was hooked up to an IV, oxygen, heart monitor and other leads, wires, etc. heading into her first surgery ever she responded, ” Anyone can dance, you just have to feel the music.”

The answer is true and simple. Anyone can dance. It is food for the soul. I have been dancing on and off since I was 3 or 4 (in a studio.) I am pretty sure I came out boogie style. My girls did too. My girls and I dance in a studio now as well. We have been dancing since my oldest was just out of diapers. She is 19 now. When my 11 year old was born, I decided, after persuading by the owner of the studio, that I should start taking Flamenco classes even though I was 220 pounds. There was no part of me (or my soul) that wanted to get into a flamenco skirt or dress and shake, twist or turn my hips or body. I absolutely did not feel beautiful or sexy or anything else that I admired about dancers.

Now, I dance on a Salsa team. My 11 year old dances on a Salsa team. She dances Flamenco and does belly dancing as well. My 19 year old dances Flamenco and when she dances it is like she goes to another world where there is no trouble, no worries and her body transforms into this beautiful creature. She is truly an amazing dancer and she doesn’t even know it. Dancing feeds her soul.

Last night I went to Zumba. It was a different clientele than normal. While I felt different walking in because it wasn’t the usual crew and I didn’t have my posse with me, I was so impressed with what I saw. I saw a group of beautiful women of all shapes and sizes wearing whatever they could fit into working as hard as they could- just to feed their souls, and feel that music. Music, dance, and rhythm was causing these women to come to workout and not feel like outcasts at the gym. The room was packed and I was thrilled.

My goal is to see this same phenomenon happen in PE classes for young women. Girls in middle school and elementary school would be more inclined to participate in physical education if they were given more options. Girls in high school would be more likely to pass PE if they were given the option to participate in a class like Zumba, or …. you come up with your version.

Dancing feeds the soul. It feeds the body no matter what age, gender and most importantly size. It is a healthy alternative to traditional exercise and I watched with my own eyes, women making an effort to get healthy through the power of dance and music.

Dance saved me. Dance gives me peace of mind. My kids find serenity in dance. Try it. Anyone can do it.

Like Riley says, “Anyone can do, you just have to feel the music.”