I Hope You’ll Dance

In 2014, I bought my husband ballroom dance lessons for his birthday.

Mark was so happy. The studio was very nice and the instructors knowledgeable and kind. They took us very slowly through the basics. They sold private lessons and allowed students to join in on group lessons in between. If you missed the group lessons, which were sold as part of the very expensive tuition, you couldn’t make them up.

He found another place that allowed a flat rate for all the group lessons you could attend in a month and didn’t require private lessons. He was even happier. When I became too ill to keep up, I encouraged him to continue. “When I get better, I’ll catch up.” I told him. I have an easy time with dance. It’s very healing for me.

When the pain is not bad, I have him show me some new moves or practice some that we’d danced before. Dance is a really good way to get moving. Music has long been a part of healing from all sorts of things, emotional and physical.

When, King Saul, from the Bible was tormented in his soul, David played music for him to soothe and comfort him. The story is in First Samuel 18.

In the book I’m reading presently, The Brain’s Way of Healing the mind:body connection is fascinatingly revealed. The author tells stories of people who have found ways of healing that modern medicine has ignored. One man used very intentionally mindful walking to stave off the debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. He examines the link between mental awareness and movement to heal.  All of the stories are very encouraging.

Mark was so constantly stressed before we started dancing. He was literally gray for a few years. He never got any exercise. We hadn’t taken a vacation for 16 years. His whole countenance changed with dance. He loved the music, the movement, the people, the energy, and he had goals to learn certain steps that he enjoyed. It is so good for him.

He’d lost his sense of wonder and the youthful exuberance of life that Lee Ann Womack sings about in the song, I Hope You’ll Dance. Many of us do. You need not suffer from abuse to have lost faith in life.

For people who have suffered abuse, that youthful exuberance may have been squashed early in childhood. To regain it is a tremendous gift. We often miss the subtle things that could bring joy. I think music and movement therapy could be very beneficial.

Many arthritic people use Tai Chi to help alleviate pain, encourage movement and strengthen tired bodies. Others use yoga. Dance as a tool for healing fascinates me. The healing music and the intentional movement hold great promise in my mind. I hope to explore this more.

If you have experience or know of programs that use this healing technique, I’d love fore you to share in the comments.


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