Charles Dickens A Christmas CarolOne of the reasons dancers love to dance is because they “lose themselves.” It means feeling one’s own movement match the music; feeling the music inside your body, and allowing your body to respond to it in an uninhibited way. Whether a dancer is performing a choreography or generating impromptu movements, this expression of freedom releases the soul and connects to the meaning of being human. No matter what else is going on in a dancer’s world, the connection of body to music will always be good and right, giving comfort, satisfaction and joy.
Dance instructors seek to convey this joy to their students. Often, the biggest obstacle to convincing someone to dance is their own self-consciousness. So an instructor may use one of the other big advantages to dancing: it’s good exercise. Everyone knows they need to exercise, so sometimes they’ll start dancing for the exercise and end up continuing because they encounter the joy.
Recently a situation was reported to me at a Senior Center where I teach World Dance, and it continues to weigh on me. We had some gentlemen in the class, and they were obviously enjoying the class and learning the dances and even requesting certain dances. Suddenly they stopped attending and have never returned to the class, nor, it seems, even to the Center. Apparently some non-dancing men had made fun of them and called them bad names for being in the World Dance class.
Why should a person with decades of life experience care what anyone else says about him, and prevent him from finding joy? Answers only exist within each of us, and how others react is beyond our control. We can only continue to encourage everyone to dance. Whether it’s World Dance or Zumba or Modern Dance, allow yourself the freedom to feel uninhibited joy.
-Lissa Bengtson Director, IFCC January 2015

Bruce Lee Self-Consciousness quote