“When in doubt, dance it out!” It’s a sentiment I use often because dance has always been something to “get me through”. Therefore, it made perfect sense that it be the title of my first blog entry as the New Dance Nova Scotia Executive Director. This will be an ongoing series of musings and thoughts that I hope you’ll consider an enjoyable and informative read.
Now, full disclosure, these feet are not trained. Well, not unless you consider a brief stint with ballroom in university or a recent brush with social dance classes training. Nor should my ongoing love affair with “So You Think You Can Dance” (US, Australia, Canada…I’ve seen it all. I am that committed!) be seen as research or instruction. No, I am merely a simple fan who will bust a move at any given moment. Passerby’s beware!
I mean, let’s be honest, is there anything better than the feeling of trying to get out of bed the morning after you allowed yourself to be possessed by the essence of the entire cast of “Newsies”? That pain that reaffirms “you may think you’re a star, but you never really learned to bend that way”. The days it takes us to recover? Completely worth it! Because in that fleeting amount of time, you were alive and at your sassiest. Or so it seemed in your mind.
And that’s part of the beauty of dance. While not all of us train, we can all use its energy in different ways, for different purposes. For me, dance (and to greater extent music – but that’s a story for another time) is where I go to “work stuff out”. Movement and music have always helped me think clearly. In times of stress, dancing helped me release tension. When I haven’t been able to think through decisions, dance shook me out of the fog. Moreover, dance has always been the great energizer when I’ve felt heavy and weighed down. In all of these moments, I was never once on a stage…I was more often in my living room with a very perplexed cat.
The point is that there’s so much more to the world of dance that we need to discover and celebrate. In Nova Scotia, the world of dance is comprised of culture, communities, nationalities, history, and tradition. It’s used for exercise, competition, mental health, self-care, and communication. It spans ability, gender expression, and age. Dance builds community, connects people, and can be a healing agent.
Dance is pretty cool.
So, as I begin this exploratory new journey of looking at dance with new and widening eyes, I know there will be moments where I’ll hit the wall and wonder, “what should I write about now”? And at that time of doubt, I shall grab my perplexed cat, hit the living room, and dance it out!
Then I’ll realize I’ve left the curtains open and have once again traumatized my neighbours. Oh well, you gotta start somewhere.