Movement is life.
For us to be in existence, something has to always be in motion. Millions of cells are being produced in our bodies, blood is moving, and we are breathing in and out.
It is this sense of life that I feel when I dance; movement is indeed life.
Sometimes, without even realising it, we are carrying so much weight, concerns, work, family challenges and so much more.
When I dance, I feel like something just let go. I feel joy flow through me.
I feel all the weight I didn’t even know I was carrying fly away. We experience this same exhilaration when we exercise.
This is because exercising produces endorphins, dopamine and serotonin (happiness hormones), that leave us feeling refreshed mentally and spiritually.
Our bodies also feel loose and strong because of the motion we just subjected them to. Motion does indeed produce life in us.
The difference between dancing and exercising for me is that when we exercise, we have a certain goal in mind.
It could be to feel ready for the day, to be fit, to run a marathon, to attain the weight standards we have set for ourselves or to build mental and physical strength.
This is similar to so many other activities we do in life.
We mostly have a goal, for instance, we go to the market to get groceries, we share cocktails to network, or we grow crops to get money to provide for our families.
Dance, however, has a spirit of letting go, of not giving a care for a moment in your life. This is so precious since as adults, we tend to forget how to play.
Do you ever wonder why kids are so joyful most of the time? It is because they play, they imagine, they let go. They don’t have to care about every little thing. They have moments where they just simply be and enjoy life.
This is one of the most beautiful things in life because one starts to learn how to make a life instead of just making a living.
One is able to be, to just be, and let go without seeking to be in control for a moment, to take everything in and enjoy what one has.
Dance, therefore, has the power to put someone in such a space.
When dancing, I find myself forgetting all burdens; they fly away.
And, as I dance with others, seeing the smiles and joy on their face, I start to see the beauty in life and all that it could be.
When people are happy, they tend to do little dances, such as leaping for joy, moving to the beat of their happiness.
Happiness lifts; but sorrow is heavy, making one motionless. This aspect of dance is what makes it empowering.
Consequently, one develops confidence and strength. When I dance, I feel a rush of life flow through my body; my mind opens up and lets go. I feel empowered and a sense of self love. This is powerful.
I really hope everyone starts to embrace movement, to embrace dance. There are so many ways one can dance and so many platforms.
In Rwanda, I hope that we create platforms for people to come and learn how to express themselves through movement.
This would help people’s perceptions towards dance to be enlightened on the benefits of dance.
I am a dancer, and my main aim is to reach mothers and women in general. I love this group because they are so busy trying to take care of everyone else. I believe dance would create a space for them to just take care of themselves, to learn to express themselves through dance/movement and to discover and rediscover more about themselves. Dance can empower them.
With support, we will put up more diversified platforms for people in Rwanda to come learn more about dance, exercise the art of movement, the art of dance and the art of letting go.
The author is a dance enthusiast and Rwandan-based professional dancer. Currently, she is working with a project called ‘Ikiringo’ that aims at promoting and protecting local dances in Rwanda and across Africa.