I have always loved dancing, I did ballet as a child and at school was part of a contemporary dance troupe that won a lot of competitions. We managed to convince the rugby boys that it was good to do dance, so we got to do lots of lifts and jumps. I had a lot of space growing up and would often dance in the woods.
As an adult I was dance in clubs, in fields and woods too. I’ve always been good at it and got so much pleasure. I even had my wedding dance choreographed, but it was a rather unusual dance, starting off very slow and sedate, before turning into a rock song! It was Muse’s cover of ‘Can’t take my eye’s off of you’. That photo above is from the dance and yes, that is my husband doing air guitar!
Hell, I’ve even moshed at a Nine Inch Nails concert in Brixton. I had some serious bruises after that!
The house I live in now is small and there is no room for dancing, nor in my garden either. Since I got so ill I am always very aware of my body and how much I can push it, always worrying that at any moment I will do something and end up back in my wheelchair every time I go out.
I heard about 5 rhythms dancing from a friend of mine and thought it sounded great. I’ve been googling around for ages and not managed to find anything near me, but the woman who told me about Red Tent also told me there was an Ecstatic Dance class nearby and it was yesterday.
Oh! It was amazing, I haven’t felt like that for ages. I really danced and dance! I didn’t dance for the whole thing, at one point I lay on my back and danced with my arms and legs in the air so I didn’t have to worry about the pressure through my joints. And do you know what? My body is actually really strong. All the walking, swimming and yoga I do is paying off. I spend a lot of time on exercise, because I need to take care off and build up my muscles as I can’t rely on the ligaments and other connective tissues to do it for me.
I dropped into a trance state and had to sit for a while and just be with my experience before moving into some gentle floor dancing, mainly stretching and waving my arms.
We were supposed to dance with our eyes shut, but my propreception is too bad for that, I would have fallen over, but next time I will wear my glasses (rather than contact lenses) and take them off, so at least I can’t focus on anything.
I really believe in the power of healing from dance, yoga, singing, music, drumming and all these other alternative techniques. If I had listened to my EDS support group I would still be sat in my wheelchair getting more and more depressed, but I have gently built my body back again, over a couple of years and I have been rewarded with being able to start to trust it again. This morning I am off to my one to one yoga class which I have every six months or so to make sure my home practice is on track and isn’t damaging, but continuing to challenge and build my body.
It’s a shame I have discovered this so late in the year, as otherwise I think I would have booked myself into some small festivals to go and dance. As it is I have Greenbelt coming up, but I don’t think there will be any dancing there!
I can’t over exaggerate how wonderful it is to be able to trust my body again. I was still carefully listening to it and I did make sure I wasn’t putting pressure through my joints all the time, but wow, the freedom! I wish I could go every week!
Do you dance?