Dancing for Well-Being: Five Dances for Life

Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

Dance is an amazing thing, and many people don’t realize how dance helps you physically, mentally, and spiritually. Dancing is good for your soul. There are many reasons people have for not dancing, but these reasons can be easily debunked; here are five dances that can help improve our life in more ways than you can imagine.

Many people have excuses to not dance. Some people may think they have no rhythm, but they should simply remember that “the whole universe is in constant motion and you are probably not the exception to the rule” (Roth, 1998, p. 17). Some people may not dance because they do not like their bodies, but they should remember that dancing will work away any extra pounds. Whatever you don’t work off is “meant to be part of you” (Roth, 1998, p.17). I find one of my biggest excuses is lack of time, but I have realized that the smallest amount of time spent dancing can change my mood completely. I have been figuring out different ways to incorporate dancing even if it is only for a few minutes into my daily schedule. Even if I only dance to one song a day I still feel better.

There are 5 rhythms of the soul, and they are known as flowing, staccato, chaos, lyrical, and stillness (Roth, 1998). Flowing is about being flexible like liquid. In flowing there are no “separations or distinctions between things, there’s only continuous change” and flowing is the “rhythm of the earth” (Roth, 1998, p.52). In order to practice flowing dance “imagine that you are all circles and curves, arms round, spine undulating, hands soft, hips rolling gently, knees loose” and “ let whatever you are feeling unravel” (Roth, 1998, p.55). Staccato is more of a tense dance. It is a type of dance that creates all “kinds of angles and edges like geometry in motion” (Roth, 1998, p.83). The dance of chaos is spontaneous and intuitive. It is meant to “dive below the surface… and get in touch with our whims, our impulses, and our poetic intelligence” (Roth, 1998, p.118). Lyrical dancing is one of the hardest dances for most people because it you have to experience it to understand it, but I feel comfortable practicing this dance, and I believe that my dramatic nature and love of dance makes this form of dance more natural to me. Perhaps this type of dance comes natural to me because in lyrical dancing “we realize we are works-in-progress” and this is an important lesson I try to remember at all times (Roth, 1998, p.156). Stillness is what I would call a typical type of meditation. It is about moving in “super-slow motion” and focusing your attention to “the ebb and flow of your breath, the beat of your heart, the pulsing of cells” (Roth, 1998, p.180).

Dancing is good for the soul, and people should dance more often. Nothing is more natural and pure than dancing. Let go of your excuses why you do not dance, and Dance!

Roth, G. (1998). Sweat your prayers: movement in spiritual practice. New York, NY: Penguin Putnam.

Originally published at https://sarahganly.blogspot.com.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Sarah Ganly

Sarah Ganly


Sarah Ganly is an artist, entrepreneur, and lover of life. She is a lifelong learner dedicated to making people smile.