Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of answers to the question “Why do you dance?” or “Why do you love to dance?”

The vast majority of the reasons I have heard personally fall under the category of “to express myself.” I’ve never really identified with this, because class for me has always been a time to work on my craft. Improvisation is my time to express myself, I suppose, but otherwise in class I am focused 100% on improving my technique. Or what I’m having for dinner that night. But I’m not really trying to thinking about emoting when I’m doing my final class combo or when we’re doing across the floor. I’m using my power to move through the world.

I suppose that I dance to forget, sometimes, whatever else is happening; brisk and concentrated movement takes my mind to a place of calm. It shuts off the lights.

I don’t dance to give physicality to my sadness or my happiness, nor do I dance to show my inner thoughts to the world. Choreography would be a better vehicle to show the world the inner workings of my mind, but in doing rep work or class, this is rarely an issue. And so much of my improvisation is my mind shutting off and my body taking over.

I don’t dance to express myself. I don’t have that sort of relationship with dance.

I dance because I feel like a superhero when I’m dancing.

Before I danced, I wrote. I still do. I like to write thrillers, the sort of stories where there’s lots of ass-kicking and guns and explosions and people dangling from rooftops or spies being interrogated. High stakes, suspense, tension – I love it. My favorite kind of movies have always been the kind where there are spies or superheroes. I like the danger and the action.

Superhero movies always have these amazingly choreographed fight scenes. People fly, they get punched and are thrown back, they tangle and roll and jump off of things and bounce up when they’re knocked down.

So I dance because it’s the closest thing I can get to being in a superhero fight. Because of dance, I can jump and then throw myself onto the ground only to be up on my feet and spinning a second later.

I love physicality, and I love the adrenaline. I get the superhero adrenaline high. I’ve been addicted for five years now.

That’s why I love to dance.

End essay.


Classes:

Wednesday – Contemporary with France at NWDP

Thursday – Contemporary with Tracy at NWDP

Friday – Contemporary with Tracy at BV

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