Dancing can be incredibly novel, liberating, and character building. As a child I used to put on a tape (yes tape of the cassette variety) of Madonna, Roxette, Aerosmith, or some other artist from that era of late 80s early 90s and I would dance. Shimmying around the living room, jumping, twirling, and usually accompanied by my very own obnoxiously loud singing. In my defense I usually only did this when no one else was home – usually.
There was a time, I was little, maybe four, and I put on a dance for my entire family to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star – its a good thing I was cute. And so it is only fitting that my parents put me in dance class. We tried Ukrainian dance first. I especially liked getting fancy braids and flowers in my hair, and we even performed on local TV once – I was probably 7. After a year of Ukranian dance I convinced my parents to put me in Tap. Tap was where it was at, I had seen a dancer moving his feet so fast, the clack of his tap shoes creating their own music and I wanted to try it.
I remember my first day of tap class, the instructor asked the class (all 4 of us, two of which were her own kids) what we knew about tap… You can guess what I did, I flailed my legs as fast as I could, creating a cacophony of tap shoes on wooden floor, in a rhythm that the tap world would never see again – thankfully. As far as my recollection, after a year of tap training, I retired from formal dance training, but I never stopped dancing.
As a young adult, of age to go to the “clubs”, I never missed a Friday and Saturday at my two favourite Edmonton haunts (neither of which exist anymore, sob) to dance. Most nights I was feeling in the groove, moving across the dance floor, all flailing arms and spastic legs. These days if I’m feeling particularly stressy, or the room is too quiet, you might catch me running around with my phone tuned to an upbeat song and encouraging a dance party.
Here is what a dance party does:
- Acceptance – Unless you are surrounded by Riverdance, or Paula Abdul, or Channing Tatum chances are those around you all feel a little silly before starting to dance, but as everyone gyrates in their own special way you experience the silliness together and acceptance is born
- Endorphins – exercise and movement create endorphins which make you happy – bonus
- Creativity – There are a million styles of dance out there and its perfectly acceptable to create your own
- Connection – its cool to have a dance party by yourself, I do it all the time at home, however, having a dance party with others allows you to connect in the fun, the silliness, the music, etc…
The thing is, no one cares about differences in a dance party – differences are in fact celebrated. So dance, have a dance party, enjoy the silliness of moving and grooving to the music – whatever that music might be – JUST DANCE!