dance connection

 

dance friends

I had a conversation recently about a bunch of scientific studies saying, basically, “people need people”.  Doesn’t seem like a revolutionary or new concept as people have always lived in families and groups…we know we need people…but I guess we are also in need of a reminder. People are now living alone more, in apartments and in cities instead of villages. We don’t talk to our neighbours as much anymore. (Well, some neighbours are truly scary…stay away! Haa!) You do not have to go running out to meet everyone on your street but you DO need connection.

Connection is actually what it is all about.

Connection is vital and essential to leading a happy and healthy life. Lack of connection can have actual physical health repercussions.

So I was wondering about connection in the dance world. When it comes to “community”, how are the dancers doing?

It can be hard to make dance friends and stay friends when you are also each other’s competition. You are all going after the same part in the show or place in the company. Can you be friends with someone and be happy for them when they get the role and you don’t? Are you comparing yourself to them in the mirror? Overall, I think the need for connection outweighs the pangs of jealousy or any bad feelings. Who else but another dancer will understand what you are going through? These are the people who get you. They get it. They know how your body is hurting and they understand your frustration when you are working out some hard to do moves. You need your group of people who can relate to you. Who can commiserate and celebrate with you.

And who else knows the best tips for blisters or where to find the cheapest leg warmers?

That is the connection that people need and that the scientists are now talking about. You need to feel like you belong. That you are understood. You have to have, even one person, who just gets you.

The grown-ups I teach now feel like a nice community. Some of them come in with other people they already know. Some have met in class and have become friends outside of class. They keep up with each other on social media and it is amazing to see them all encouraging each other in all that they do. When you enter a dance class you know you already have at least one thing in common with the other participants. You all love dancing. After that, when the dancers start talking about jobs, parenthood, hobbies or interests…you can see the connections being made.

Some of my closest friends have been in the dance world. (Dancers are super fun! Haa!) And I look forward to meeting many more people and making more connections in my new dance community.

I hope you all find some great dancified connection along your way. It will be good for your health!!!!

 

 

 

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celebrate good times…come on!

 

I am currently planning a big party for a family member’s special birthday.

I’m going through all the must haves for a good celebration. I’m doing the research into prices and availability. Food, drinks, music, decorations…I have been asking around to hear what people think makes a party a success.

Most people say good food is top priority. Some think location or decor.  I say the most important thing is the music. I don’t care much about the caterer but I insist upon an excellent DJ.

I don’t just say that because of my personal love of music and dance, but I know the power of music and that dancing can amplify and enhance any celebration. In fact, dancing is a universal way to celebrate in itself. The Hora is done at Jewish celebrations. The Greek, Sirtos. The Whirling Dervishes elevate dance to have religious significance. Every culture has its own dance that they will do at celebrations and festivals.

And dance is not only for celebrating around the world, but there are ceremonial dances too. For example, The Haka which is a posturing dance from New Zealand that the rugby team performs before a game.  Native American rain dances are a great demonstration of the importance placed on dance in some cultures and we can also see the power of music and dance in something like the opening of the Ellen show on television daily.

And music…

Music has changed attitudes, been the voice of a generation or a movement. Music can create a moment, a feeling and an energy. The influence of music on people deserves an endless page of writing all to itself. I could go on and on about the body and soul’s reaction to different kinds of music…but now is not the time or place.

To get myself back on topic…

I will not underestimate the value of good tunes at our party.

What am I looking for in a DJ? Someone who knows which song they can play, that after hearing the intro, will make everyone look at each other, make that face of recognition and jump up to hit the floor. I’m looking for someone who can read the crowd and feel, when and if, the guests want to go a little crazier or if they need to slow it down.  A good DJ takes all requests and keeps the person that hired them happy. A great DJ will play music for all age groups and know which tunes from the past will make people smile.  A fantastic DJ keeps the crowd on the dance floor all night long and sends out a positive energy and a love for music.

I should state here though that I am not a fan of the group dancing thing that goes on at some parties. I love it in a musical when everyone knows the same moves and the whole dance floor breaks out into the same choreography, but dances like the Achy Breaky Heart thing or the Macarena…Grease, Electric Slide? I don’t really want to Time Warp again or stay at the YMCA. I know people love to go there…but not me. (Sorry) Our party will be a conga line free zone.  No backs will be harmed trying to limbo and we will not Shake it Off either.

So I put music and dance at the highest level of importance for a good celebration to be had.

I will place our happiness in the DJ’s hands along with my oh so very extremely long list of requests. (well…I am not “requesting” I am ordering these songs to be played. Haa!) I will wear a danceable outfit and rock the night away trying not to embarrass my children too much. I might moon walk. I might throw in some krumping as the night goes on…who knows what will happen when that 90’s hip-hop I asked for comes on. Who will step it up when Let Me Clear My Throat is played? Who will bust out the Tootsie Roll? The Roger Rabbit? The Running Man? (now you can tell how old I am can’t you?! Haa!)

I think being a DJ is one of the greatest jobs on earth and I would love to be one. I get a small taste of the thrill and power of being the DJ when I teach dance class. I do get to pick the music for warm-up, for choreography, for cool down. I get to set the mood and style with the music. If I want the class to have a lot of energy there are songs that bring that out. If I want the class to feel calm there is music to chill. Maybe someday I can live out the real DJ dream…but until then I will leave the party dance floor to be conducted by the professionals.

We will dance and laugh and be joyful!

We will celebrate good times!

Never underestimate the power of the music and the dance.

In the DJ we trust.