Stress has a way of messing with our priorities. It can make it feel easier to tackle the thing that is immediately in front of us, and lose sight of the bigger picture. Well, I can relate. Stress has, at times, found its way between me and the most important things in my life. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “You can’t see the wood for the trees”, and for me, I can’t see my passion for all the stress!
But when I step back to look at the whole forest, I can see what I was missing: Dance.
Dance has always been my home. It’s the place I go to feel safe, to find relief, to express, to be happy, to feel alive. Dance has continually shaped and changed my life. It has been my passion for so long, that I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t identify as a dancer. I’m one of the lucky people who was given the gift of dance at an early age. I got to grow up knowing the joy and exhilaration of expressing myself through dance, and now, I get to share that gift of dance with people in the most pure and enriching way I’ve known it, through Dance Movement Therapy.
One of my favourite quotes comes from Rosa Shreeves, a dance artist and Dance Movement Psychotherapist in the UK, whose work I came across while doing some reading before starting my MA, and stumbled upon again while going through some old notes I took at the time.
“To dance is in the deepest sense of the word to be more vividly.”
And that was it. That quote made me think “YES! That’s why I dance! That’s what I want to share!”
Shreeves hit the nail right on the head so precisely that I couldn’t find more perfect words if I tried my whole life! That is exactly how I feel when I dance – that I am the most fully alive that I could possibly be. That I am feeling vividly, experiencing vividly, living vividly, being vividly!
And so when I find ways to step back from all of life’s stresses, it’s clear to me that unless I’m dancing, I’m not really living. So whenever I find myself back in Stress Forest, I make the conscious decision to get myself back in the studio, back on the dance floor, and back to dancing my heart out. Because if I’m not living with passion, joy, and dance, then what’s the point of going through the woods at all?
This blog post isn’t about self-help. I don’t have any advice to give. I don’t have steps for you to follow to make you believe in dance. I just have myself, my passion, and my belief. So if you’d like to come share in my love of dance and all of the joy, healing, learning, and enlivening that comes with it, please get in touch. Let’s meet and move together and celebrate this gift of dance.
Until then, stay well and keep moving!
-Jessica Houghton, Dance Movement Therapist