Thursday, 30 June 2022

For the love of dance

 I have written a lot about dance - it's power to heal, it's mood lifting effect, it's sense of community, the science of dance and it's many other benefits for wellbeing..  Hell, even when I do karoke, I tend to throw in a dance for good measure. I am not a good dancer. I don't even know my left from right. I'm that white person with no rhythm the trope is laughing at. And I'm old. I just love it so much, and the serotonin it gives me (dopamine? I'm also not a doctor or biology student or clearly that smart), that I just don't care. Dancing is the quickest route to joy.

Walking to the restaurant to meet my friend before Hot Potato Band the other night, I was flooded with endorphins and getting high in anticipation of dancing. I said on arrival, 'the next best thing to the high you get dancing is the feeling of anticipation that you're going dancing!' And for me, it's true.

The next morning, my husband sent me this article with the preface 'it's not for the bit about hating your body, it's for the dancing bit'. He is not a dancer. At weddings, I'm allowed one dance with him. He warns me to choose the song wisely. He prefers seated concerts, where as I prefer to stand up the front in the crowd. My widowed brother-in-law is now my main dance partner at family weddings, because he likes to dance or doesn't know how to say no. I don't really understand people don't like to dance. I realise there's a self-conscious aspect, fear of looking stupid etc but if you give yourself over to the music, you just don't care. The serotonin released (or whatever) is worth it. In fact, as I've mentioned before, I'm sure there's footage of me on youtube being mocked for the way I dance...I just hope I never stumble across it.

Back to the article, Julia Baird sums up the regret people have late in life as their body physically declines '“If I had only known,” they would say, “I would have danced more.”' and she concludes "But for now, when alive, when upright, when walking through days with purpose, without pain, they [your body] are vessels for adventure, for sleep, for song, for dance, and a place where we experience joy." (full article is worth reading here). Dance is the most immediate path to joy in my opinion.

When in lockdown, as the weeks rolled on, I would be filled with existential panic, mainly about how I only had a limited time left to travel and dance, and do all the physical things I like to do. If people were talking about lockdown, I'd tap at my wrist and say "Tick tock! I'm running out of time". They'd laugh and say that I could still do all that but I don't think they realise what's involved. You need a certain amount of agility and strength to be able to throw yourself fully into the experience. And that, I know, is running out with age as my body physically declines. (And I accept all accusations of lockdown privilege. It's a fair call. Worrying about getting old when people are dying makes me a jerk, but this post is about my love of dance - because it is something I truly love. I stuck by the rules and still mask and sanitise but I will whinge away).

If you're a little lethargic, get up and dance. If you're down in the dumps, blast some music and dance hard. If you're in a crowd, focus on the stage and tune everything else out. I promise you, there's a shift. 

I have nothing on the cards until Duke Dumont hits our shores but I am counting down the days! In the meantime, I'll just have to settle for my morning dancing while I get dressed to Daily Drive....(another post on how much I love Spotify pending).

As for you, if you don't dance, I challenge you. Give it a go. Get your dirty boots on the floor!

 "A’a i ka hula, waiho i ka maka’u i ka hale." Dare to dance, leave shame at home.

In other news, I'm getting a new phone cos this one is dying and as you can see, can barely take photos anymore. What should I get?

Linking with #LinkupPotpourri  #HappyTuesday #WeekendCoffeeShare  #InspireMeMonday to inspire you to dance! And #YourMoment

and #RubyTuesdayToo for the top photo.


My Random Musings


  1. So much joy here Lydia! Dancing can be fun and just FYI my husband is a typical Peter Garrett dancer, our daughters would beg him not to dance and sadly he seems to have given it up. I need to pick my songs before I'll get up but I do enjoy it when I do. Lovely happy vibe here! #weekendcoffeeshare

    1. No, no! You tell your husband from me, when kids tell you not to dance you have to amplify your bad movements to cause them peak embarrasment!!

  2. I read that article too and it stayed with me and made me wonder if my answers to those questions would be the same. I suspect they would be.

  3. Dance spreads so much joy, thanks for writing this post #dreamteam

  4. Lydia I'm so envious of your love for life and dancing and concerts and nights out. I'm a much more sedate soul, so I feel like I get my social fix from reading your blog. Can't comment on phone choices - I'm a cheap date when it comes to phones!

    1. I got a new phone. I've now the head ache of setting it up. I had to run the company pays first as I'm scared I'll lose access to MyGovID and Xero authenticator.... I have a month now to get it sorted.

  5. Love this. I attended a wedding a few weeks ago with something that swore that they weren't a dancer. I couldn't even remember the last time I danced other than messing around at home with the mini me but sure enough, as the lights were coming on we were out there, without a care in the world. Good time #dreamteam

  6. I love dancing, although my movements can hardly be called dancing. More like hopping to music. I don't care though. I have absolutely no sense of rhythm, but that doesn't bother me either.

    As for the self-hatred towards our bodies as we get older, I'm probably younger than you but I can definitely relate. The only solution is to move as much as you comfortably (and sometimes not-so-comfortably) can right now, regardless of your current physical agility. #dreamteam