I dance to heal

There are days when I want to dance.

Then, there are days I have to dance.

I didn’t mention it during yesterday’s post about Nutcracker audition, but Saturday was one of the days I needed to dance.

It kept my mind of what has been a difficult anniversary. Eleven years ago yesterday, my sister died of cancer.

I thought a lot last week about the days leading up to her death. The reason? It was not only the anniversary, but also the same days in the week.

It gets better each year, I think, but I was glad to be around life yesterday. It is the one major perk of having the majority of your classmates be teenage company members.

They are full of life. They are full of dreams.

And I needed to be around that yesterday.

I’ve said before that dance, especially ballet, has a spiritual quality for me.

No matter how stressed I am, no matter how depressed or sad I am, the moment I step into class and take my place at the barre, my spirits, my soul are lifted.

I’m not saying I leave those feelings at the door. Some days I dance distracted, and it shows. But even a day I struggle in ballet, I always leave class feeling much better than I how I felt when I enter the studio.

I’m able to lose myself and focus on something graceful and beautiful when I’m at the barre doing exercises, stretching and warming up.

And adagio, trying to stay balanced on one leg doing a developpe’ or doing an arabesque turn has a calming effect on me. Even as a male dancer, I’ll confess that I enjoy feeling graceful during the turns if I’m able to keep from wobbling. It picks me up when I’m sad. It lifts my spirits

And petite allegro, once the hardest part of class for me, can really pick me up if the music is peppy and I’m spot on with the steps (even if I’m sloppy).

And grande allegro, my favorite part of class, allows my soul to soar. Tour jetes, my favorite move, makes me feel like I’m flying. I feel the same way when I get elevation with my saute chats and grande jetes when I get elevation and my legs are straight. And I feel a certain satisfaction when I’m turning in the right direction without thinking during a balance’ turn in a tricky combination.

And pirouettes … the my constant struggle … I know of no cooler feeling when you’re turning, you’re spot on on demi-pointe, well balanced, it feels smooth and you do multiples like they’re nothing.

Ballet is very emotional for me.

It helps bring my sadness to joy.

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4 responses to “I dance to heal

  • RO

    Wow I recognize so much of myself in this post..! The feeling ballet gives you, as you describe it, is spot on.
    Even though it’s eleven years ago, loss will always be felt. When we don’t, we begin to forget the ones we have lost and they wouldn’t want that!
    I lost my mother when I was young (14 years this October) and it still hurts. But like you said, when there is dance; there is a lifting of the spirit.

  • loveablestef

    I also experience dance as spiritual. My heart goes out to you as you remember and honor your sister and I am so glad you have dance as a refuge, a place to refuel your soul, and a vehicle to connect you with vibrant life.

  • The Dancing Rider

    What a moving entry, Dancescribe.

    In my small way, I also experience this in both dancing and riding. These activities are quite spiritual – and they take one out of oneself.

    And what a beautiful way for you to honor your sister. Honoring is remembering.

  • Dance Pundit.

    Such as beautifully written post.

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