Activity: Get dancing!
Where: My new studio, Soul Sessions
Cost: $100 for a quarterly membership 🙂
The Story: Here’s a fun history of dance in healing:
Another early use of dance may have been as a precursor to ecstatic trance states in healing rituals. Dance is used for this purpose by many cultures from the Brazilian rainforest to the Kalahari Desert. Medieval European danses macabres were thought to have protected participants from disease; however; the hysteria and duration of these dances sometimes led to death due to exhaustion.
Sri Lankan dance goes back to the mythological times of aboriginal yingyang twins and “yakkas” (devils). According to a Sinhalese legend, Kandyan dances originated 2500 years ago, from a magic ritual that broke the spell on a bewitched king. Many contemporary dance forms can be traced back to historical, traditional, ceremonial, and ethnic dances.
So you may recall that I joined Soul Sessions about 2 months ago (yup, seriously lacking in my posting these days but it’s because I’m so busy doing things I love haha!) and started by taking a yoga class which was great but a little too hard for my sore arthritic bones, so I vowed to try out their dance classes and see what happened! Well, flash forward 8 weeks and I am LOVING dance, and everything it’s done to change my body, mind and spirit!
I’ve always loved to dance, for as long as I can remember really! I took ballet and jazz as a child, and always scored high on the floor in gymnastics because my routines were so good. I was also a competitive cheerleader, and always used dance as a form of exercise and release in my teenage years too! I hadn’t done anything with it for years through my twenties until I actually started taking Jazzercise classes (stop laughing!) right before I started having pain from what I now know is psoriatic arthritis in my late 20s.
I was devastated to have to stop back then (about 7 years ago) because I’d finally found something I loved doing that was also keeping me active. I honestly never thought I’d be able to dance again because my illness can really keep me down with pain, but at Soul Sessions I’ve found classes that I can do and do at my own pace when I’m having a hard pain day 🙂
My favourites so far? Dance Fusion (a mix of hip hop, burlesque, latin, caribbean and more!) and Ballet Booty which is ballet for adults! I’m also waiting for the opportunity to try their Latin Legs class that just doesn’t work time-wise for me, but I’m going to get there before the end of the year for sure!
The benefits are tenfold for me. I’ve lost 60 lbs so far this year and I’ve found that this form of exercise is helping me continue to lose and helping tone and re-shape my body which ROCKS! Mentally, it’s an incredible release to sweat out my problems and spiritually I’m really feeling connected to my soul’s passion. It’s really reinvigorated me in a way I didn’t think was possible, and I am so so incredibly grateful.
The verdict: Dancing is something I will continue to do for as long as I possibly can. I’m actually in LOVE with how I feel when I dance, and the freedom of mind that just washes over me. Can’t wait to keep trying out new classes!