As someone who used to eat, sleep and breathe dance 24/7 I find myself missing the art form as it was a way of relaxation. If I had a stressful day then dance was a way that I could let that go.
After watching a documentary on BBC Arts I realise now that dance can not only be a way of relaxation, but a way of building yourself back up again.
Marc Brew: For Now I am, looks at a dancer with a phenomenal curriculum vitae in dance history, who was involved in a head on car crash that resulted in him having a spinal cord injury and loosing the use of his legs. Brew mentions in the clip that without the use of his legs he is classed as damaged goods in the dance industry.
However, he hasn’t let this become a barrier in his career, he has managed to turn that around and let dance still be the centre of his world. His recent dance pieces have been based on his accident and the acceptance of his new body. It is great to see that he is able to use his skills and knowledge in dance to deal with the accident and who he is now.
Dance is an accessible art form
For me, dance is an accessible art form, no matter who you are or what experience you have of dance, anyone can participate. You don’t have to be the best at doing a pirouette, as long you enjoy doing it that’s the most important thing to me.
As a dancer who did contemporary and street dance for seven years, I was always inspired to challenge myself with the skills and techniques needed in each of the dance styles. I got too focused on improving my ability and stamina which led to me forgetting the whole reason of why I was doing this.
I just wanted to dance to enjoy myself not to physically and mentally challenge my whole being.
Yet this is another example of how challenging yourself physically and mentally can be a good thing for you.
Aerial performance art
Take Lauren Watson, a 34 year old from Australia with incomplete paraplegia who was able to deal with her experience through aerial performance as an art form.
Watson was in a car accident and was left partially paralyzed from the waist down. She did use physical therapy but found an aerial demonstration performance in a shopping mall and was inspired to use that as a way to deal with who she was.
If you read her story in full here, you can see how much the aerial performance has made an impact, not just on her quality of life but her physical being as she was able to strengthen her muscles and become a professional aerial artist.
So it just shows how powerful art forms such as dance or aerial performance can be. Whether you do it as a hobby, as something you do to release from the stress of your day or as a way of therapy, it shows that physical art forms can help you deal with new changes in your life and can be an emotional outlet.
Let us know why you love to dance or perform in the comments below!