Dancing is Food for the Soul

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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.”

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Page 1- The Lists of Life

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I have lists for everything. I have a bucket list. I have a list of beliefs. I have a list of things I intend to accomplish before I turn 40. I have a list of character traits I would like my person to have (which at this point in my life needs to be revisited.) I have a list of songs every person should hear in their lifetime, either because the words are incredibly meaningful or amazing or because the music itself is haunting and alluring. 

Some people think these lists are a little crazy. Some people think they are funny. My students, however, enjoy making their own lists based on my examples. The make them at the beginning of the year with doubt and scepticism and revisit them at the end of the year with awe and acceptance of who they are and who they have become in one simple school year. I explain the importance of lists. 

Lists are important because they change. You can re-order them. No one else can tell you what to put on them and you never have to share them if you don’t want to. Lists can become longer and they can become shorter. Lists are all up to the person creating them. Here is my most important list. This is the list that changes the least, but of course, does change through courses of events in life.

My Beliefs

1. I believe in the power of love. 

2. I believe that children are our future and they should all be given equal access to opportunity. 

3. I believe in second chances. 

4. I believe in the beauty of movement. 

5. I believe that music can cure the pain of a broken heart. 

6, I believe in old souls, new souls and in between souls. 

7. I believe in the gift of giving life. 

8. I believe all little boys AND little girls should learn how to tie a tie. 

9. I believe in the spirit of Santa Claus.

10. I believe that people should not be judged because they choose to love who they want to love. 

11. I believe that tattoos are legit as long as they stand for something and they are in a place you can hide them in case of great job interview. 

12. I believe that people have more than one  soul mate. 

13. I believe that heaven and hell are places that we are taught about but we don’t actually go there. 

14. I believe in hard work. 

15. I believe in true love. 

16. I believe that if you ” build it, they will come.”

17. I believe that positivity breeds positivity. 

18. I believe that monogamy for humans is unnatural and has to be worked at tremendously hard by both parties. 

19. I believe that beauty comes from the soul.