I’ve just finished a 50-minute dance session. This is about 5 – 10 minutes longer than usual, but I was having such fun, I couldn’t stop.
I recently told someone that I danced, and she asked if I did spiritual dancing. (This is how people perceive me?!) I wanted to get all word-nerdy and philosophical, and say that the dancing I did was indeed deeply spiritual, but I knew what she meant, so I behaved myself and answered appropriately, like a good girl. 😊
So what kind of dancing do I do, and why dance at all? Basically, I have a playlist of old-school songs that make you want to move your body, and I do whatever comes to mind, for anything from 30 – 45 minutes. I put on my exercise clothes, let my earphones connect my phone to my ears, put the phone into a moonbag around my waist, dim the lights in my bedroom, and off I go. I try for every second day, but life has a way of knocking the routine out of me, and sometimes I have to skip more than one day. So now the goal is three times a week. I’ve always loved dancing - I love the absolute abandonment of moving my body to music, and it serves the purpose of keeping me in regular exercise at a time of my life that I don’t have either the time or the money to go to gym. Besides all of that, I spend most of my life craving two things – music, and solitude – and dancing at home feeds my soul with both. With the music right inside my ears, I hear every drumbeat, every instrument, every pause, every nuance and every breath of the vocalist, and I allow all of that to pulsate through my body and transport me into a world I wish I could inhabit every second of my life. The fact that I’m getting fitter by doing this is a beautiful bonus. I like the fact that I’m not competing with anybody and that I don’t have to be instructed by anyone, nor do I have to get done quickly because someone else needs the space. No – it’s a blissful, controlled environment, and it’s my escape. I love it.
The truth is, I dance to release energy. I had a really crap day today, and the residue threatened to stay with me throughout the night and wake up with me tomorrow. I really didn’t want that. I’d skipped last night, and I really needed to dance tonight. One of the most beautiful things about dancing (I know I’ve written about this before) is that it makes me smile. It makes me so happy, I burst into smiles and can’t stop. I think if you have that kind of experience on a regular basis, a smile is never far from your face. I know - I’m such a nerd.
I’ve also danced when I’ve been deliriously happy, as well as abysmally sad. I’ve found my peace in dancing on many occasions when people have hurt or deceived me. My two favourite ways of processing my emotions are writing and dancing. On days like today, when I allow myself the time to do both, no matter what else has happened, I know I’m looking after myself properly.
One of the things I’ve struggled with throughout my life, has been acknowledging my strengths and successes, and I know I’m part of a string of generations of people trapped this way. In fact, I’d got into the habit of saying self-deprecating things that simply reinforced my belief that, that while I was good at starting things, I wasn’t very good at seeing them through. However, as I exposed myself to different ways of thinking, I learnt that sharing your successes can spur someone else into action, and have a positive impact on that person’s life. I am deeply inspired by different people in my life, and I hope to be an inspiration to others, as well.
So, here are some statistics I’m proud of:
1. Today is Day 101 of healthy eating. (And I’ve lost 11,1kg so far, simply through making better choices.)
2. Today is Day 1085 of my dancing journey. While I haven’t danced every day, and have had some long gaps, I’ve never given up. Dancing is part of me now.
3. Today is Day 171 of writing Daily Pages (learnt from the book, The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron)
4. Music stats:
- Started playing guitar 40 yrs ago (1978)
- First big public performance of my originals, 20 yrs ago (1998 – one set at the V&A Jazzathon)
- Formed duo with Keith Tabisher 15 years ago (2003)
- Formed duo with Wayne Bosch 9 years ago (2009)
- First studio recording of originals, 21 years ago (1997, The London Connection)
- First original song on internet, 7 years ago (2011, I’m So Happy Today - soundcloud)
- First original video on internet, 3 years ago (2015, In the Shade of Table Mountain - youtube)
- Number of original concerts so far (since 2005): 15
- Duration of current solo restaurant gig: 3 years and 3 months
The point is, we sometimes think we’re not good at sticking with things, but when we actually take the time to reflect and write things down, we might be surprised at what we’ve actually stuck with, and - more importantly - what it reveals about why we’re prepared to give each new day the benefit of the doubt.
Breathtaking sunset view from the office, one day this month.