” Dancing through life, skimming the surface,

Gliding where turf is smooth”

These are lyrics from one of my favourite Broadway/West end shows – “Wicked”

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I have recently taken up dancing again – the reason – to get back to me and it’s already working. Like a drug but with the most wonderful side effects.

It is known widely that dancing improves brain function in many ways.  According to a recent article published in Psychology Today regular dancing and steady practice can help ‘train’ the brain against dizziness.

But learning dance steps, going through the moves slowly and then performing them over and over, also affects cognitive learning. Both mastering a sequence of dance steps and then repeating them requires a deep level of concentration.

Examining 23 studies over 15 different populations, researchers found, “small but consistent effects for improvement of well-being, mood, affect, and body image,” as well as some moderate positive effects on depression and anxiety in the dancers compared to those who didn’t.

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However what dancing does for me is more fulfilling on another level. It is an escape, a moment lost in time when I am being lead around a dance floor by a parter and consumed by the dance and nothing else. It’s a euphoric electricity that I feel coming out from somewhere deep within me and it makes me happy 🙂

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In my recent post on Love I talk (a lot) about connection.  I am looking forward to the day that I can dance with someone I have that connection with. Partner dancing – Ballroom/Latin  is an expression of self and of emotions, passion – the salsa, sex and intimacy – the rhumba, frustration and intensity – the tango, love and romance – the waltz.

and therefore I quote…

I wanna dance with somebody, I wanna feel the heat with somebody, yeah I wanna dance with somebody – with somebody who loves me…..

I have never been a truly trained dancer – if you’ve read my blog you will know that a proportion of my childhood memories are missing – and my earliest memory of dance is in fact a beautiful and a sad one,

I remember learning a dance at Miss Heathers dance school perhaps around the age of 4 years old – wearing a little cobalt blue leotard with a skirt on it learning “The Watering Can Dance”. I remember the wonderful feeling I got from learning a routine and endlessly practiced it at home – I felt like a dancer. My mum had this jug on the dresser at home – it was from Portugal or somewhere and was almost like a glazed pottery – I remember it was Brown and cream with writing on it. I carefully lifted it off the dresser to practice my watering can dance. My mum came in and saw me and wasn’t best pleased, she shouted and said Melanie if you drop that you will be in big trouble – I said I won’t mummy I’m practicing the watering can dance look desperate for her to watch me and then …

I dropped it.

In later life as part of an entertainments team in a 4 star hotel in Europe I danced routines to all sorts of music – west end style cabarets with rehearsals until 2am after a 15 hour day at work all for the love of dance – I’ve danced disco, pop and been a backing dancer – I love to dance and I don’t care who’s watching.

I get completely lost in dance – I can be in a large busy nightclub and hear one of my go to tracks come on and its like no one else is there – I’m totally lost in the moment and I have no concern over who is watching – cue Whitney Houston I wanna Dance with somebody…

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I have taken tap dancing classes, line dancing classes – even a pole dancing class I have been on stage – being a paid performer and on my own stage on nights out, and now I am back in the ballroom – Dancing through life

I can’t recommend it enough for anyone looking to find that expression or try something new – many of the people I dance with are dancing through life for what ever reason and they are all having a great time.