My Night of Dance and Learning To Love My Body

Last night I went to a dance show in the South End of Boston put on by a very dear friend of mine.  The show was held by Urbanity Dance, and rather than sitting in a studio for the entire duration, the performance traveled to various studios, each with it’s own theme, dancers and choreography.

Without having to say much else, I was blown away.

I don’t attend many dance performances, but whenever I do, I am always impressed by the amount of control and skill that the dancers possess.

So graceful, fluid and full of emotion.  Since the performances were held in small studio spaces, the audience literally became a part of the show and we were able to get very intimate with the dancers; even close enough to see their skin glisten from perspiration.

After the show, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of appreciation and awe of the human body, and especially that of the female figure.  I find it so beautiful how performers can capture emotions into movement.

It’s no wonder that the word emotion literally means, energy in motion.  Even more so, I’m fascinated by the effect this energy in motion has on the audience members, and how these movements can evoke feelings in those that are watching.

This also got me to think about how as women, as beautiful and majestic as we are, how much negativity and self-hate we show towards ourselves, and especially towards our body.

Now, I’m not immune to this either.  Even I have my moments of criticizing my body, and last night was a gentle reminder for me to stop and appreciate this amazing piece of work.

Our body is our own canvas, it is our own masterpiece.

Like the dancer, how we move in space is a reflection of the emotions we are trying to show, (or not show).  How we move and carry ourselves says a lot about the thoughts we are thinking and the feelings we hold about ourselves.  Our thoughts manifest themselves into movement.

Feeling tired and depressed will literally create tired and depressed movements.  When we’re  excited, our movements also reflect this.

And so I leave you with something to think about today: If our emotions can dictate our movements, what then, are our everyday feelings doing to our body?

To think that the negative feelings we hold about ourselves doesn’t then affect the way our body looks, feels and functions, would be completely naive and quite frankly, a disregard to all the artists and performers who use dance as a means of self-expression.

If a performer can show us love, anger, jealousy, or happiness through movements, why then, can’t we do the same with our everyday thoughts?

Like the dancers in the performance, we can literally put into motion our feelings, and like the dancers, that controls the way our body moves through space.  And that alone, has a beauty and awe in and of itself.

As I reflect back on my night of dance, I’m reminded of the beauty and potential of my own body and the ability it has to reflect what I’m feeling, and what I’m thinking.  This reminds me that my body is a masterpiece, and whatever I’m feeling internally, will manifest itself externally.

It is amazing what our body is capable of doing.  And rather than look upon our body as a hinderance, I invite you to treat your body as if it was a performance, as if it was a canvas to be displayed, a masterpiece of your creation.

Knowing this, how then would you treat it?  How then, would you think about your body?

With this being said, I invite you to also take an inventory of your own thoughts and of your own feelings towards your body.  And if you were to put those thoughts into movements, what would it look like?  How would your body look and feel?

By taking this perspective, you may find more compassion to put more positive and compassion feelings into motion.

Photo credits: Eli Akerstein and Urbanity Dance

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