My Love Story with Dance

I was blessed with the art and beauty of dance in my life from a very young age. My mum enrolled me into a dance school back in India at the age of 4(ish) and the rest is history. Thank God she did, because as I now understand retrospectively, dance became my saviour.

Throughout my nightmarish years at school, as I struggled through psychological bullying, mental abuse and neglect, dance was both my only escape and solace. And later in my life, as an adult stuck in an unhappy marriage, dance once again became my only refuge.

One of my predominant memories throughout my childhood is me locking myself in my bedroom and dancing my heart away for hours to my favourite songs. Even as a little girl I danced away my heart ache, my pain, my disappointments, frustrations, anger, resentment, hopelessness and all the fear that I felt at the hands of my teachers and other classmates. I would scream, vent and express all of it with my body, through movement, during those hours dancing in my room. The tears were very real though. It was cathartic and a much needed outlet because I had no idea how to verbally articulate my feelings.

Of course, I didn't know then what I was doing and why. All I knew was that it made me feel good afterwards. It made me feel lighter. It was the only thing that helped me get through the endless, dreaded days in school and cope with everything I had to then as a little girl.

Having said all that, I also enjoyed dancing immensely, so it became my go to. While I danced when feeling sad, I also danced when I was happy, wanted to have fun or even just for exercise to stay fit. I loved dancing no matter what and in turn dancing loved me back❤️

What I was doing, was inadvertently accessing a powerful form of healing.  Being able to acknowledge and feel all the emotions churning inside me helped me to let them go. Because here's the thing - when we disregard our emotions and push them away, they take space in our body and energetic field which can turn into blockages. The longer they go unacknowledged, the bigger the blockage. It was dancing that helped me 'feel thorough' those emotions and by doing so release them. Because the only way out, is through.

So I understand how profoundly beneficial mindful dancing is. I don't offer dance-movement only based on theoretical knowledge and understanding. It is from lived experience. When I hold space for others in a session, whether group or private, it is with all my heart and all of me with full understanding of that experience. I offer it not only because of my love of dance, it is also because I know how transformative it can be and I want to share that transformation, the big sigh of relief that comes after the release, the feeling of lightness and peace, with as many of you as I can.

The best thing is, it doesn't have to be about pain or struggle only. A dance-movement session can be to celebrate and embody joy, playfulness, gratitude, success, abundance and/or any of beautiful blessings universe bestows upon us. For example, one of the other reasons I practise dance-movement is to nurture my inner child🥰 It brings out the vivacious, playful, cheeky side of me😄 So the work definitely has its place, but it's also about having fun, enjoying the music and letting your hair down😃

From my heart to yours,

Varsha @theliberationprojectoz

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