Friday, March 20, 2015

#whydancematters - Dance Skills = a deeper relationship with your Everyday Body

Your Dancing Body is your Monday Morning Body is your Math Class Body is your Thursday Dinner Body is your Saturday Night Body is your Business Body is your Ballet Body... You have one body and everything you do in that body is connected.

Kristine is a former student, friend, dancer, and Occupational Therapist in a pretty cool hospital in California. She sent me the following story, sharing how her experiences in her dancing body allowed her to re-pattern and heal her "everyday body".

(The italics are Kristine's words. The non-italic are mine.)

I've been experiencing back pain on and off your the last few years, and recently it has become bad enough to go to the doctor to go get a script for physical therapy.

(Insert me here saying - please don't ignore your body! But as dancers, we are used to tolerating a certain level of pain - soreness from a new rehearsal, fatigue from a long week of performances...)

Through various exercise (and completing me AT HOME as well), my back pain has gradually decreased, but something wasn't quite clicking. Since moving (to CA almost a year ago) I've been passively looking for ways to make new friends and telling myself I'm going to go to a Swing dance class. Last week, I finally just paid for the class and went. (The class I'm taking right now is the Charleston. I want to do the Lindy Hop next!)

I had to learn very isolated movements (feet, then hands, etc), before putting everything back together. I figured out the same was true for my back recovery. Before I could learn how to pick up a box again, I needed to learn how to properly hinge my hips, the squat, then finally reach for the box.

Taking the dance class finally helped it all click. First you learn the parts to a step, movement, or phrase, then you put it all together and create something that flows.

As in dance, so in life. As in life, so in dance.

This afternoon, my PT told me that I'm making great progress and next week I will be discharged. Dance wins again.

Thank you, Kristine!

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