How I Slayed my Dance Dragons
After a decade of not dancing and trying to fill that void with some kind of, ANY kind of sense of purpose, I found myself depressed, spiritually numb, and ultimately out of alignment in life in general. I played with the idea of dancing again and then one day I decided to jump into a ballet class and hip hop class at a top notch New York dance studio. I was so anxious before class started that I cried! I did the best I could, but of course I felt COMPLETELY lost, especially in the fast pace hip hop class. Of course I was embarrassed by how I had performed and at the end of the classes I told the instructors that it was my first class in ten years only to be snubbed. I guess I was expecting some words of encouragement, but…NOPE!
I didn’t take another class again for another 7 months or so until I saw that a new class had been added to my local gym. It was called Zumba! At that time Zumba was not the mega fitness giant that it is today. I gave it a try and it was pretty damn fun! The instructor was talented, engaging, warm, and full of energy! With no expectations about how I should look and no rigid standards or harsh criticism doled out by the instructor or peers, I began to dance freer, more joyfully, and more passionately. And when you feel better while you’re dancing, ultimately you look better while dancing. I didn’t realize but I was becoming a standout student in the class. The instructor took notice and when she left for maternity leave, she approached me about taking over the class.
Initially I was terrified by the idea of being front and center in a class, but I threw caution to the wind, got my certification, and went for it! At this point I worked as a Middle and High School counselor and moonlighted as Zumba instructor. Having dance in my life once again felt so amazing; I wanted to explore how to integrate dance into my psychology career. That is how I stumbled upon Dance Therapy. At first, I thought I invented it! Lo and behold it was a decades old field of study. Silly me! Anyhow, I began reading, researching, and taking various expressive arts and somatic classes. I eventually moved to the San Francisco Bay to pursue my second Master’s Degree at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology a graduate institute that focused on melding spirituality with psychology. While teaching Zumba on the side, I earned my degree in Transpersonal Psychology with a concentration in Expressive Arts Therapies.
Over time I began to take more advanced classes and my Dance Dragons came at me at full force! Oh the heat!!! But, I learned to deal with them. I began to feel empowered to speak up in classes and ask questions so that I could understand how to move my body. I used breathing techniques and mindfulness to manage my anxiety. I learned visualization and musicality cues to help me learn and retain choreography; and I used spirituality and a sense of greater purpose to help me get out of my head and dance more from a space of flow. These are just a few strategies that I teach, as a Dance Inspiration Coach, to help people slay their Dance Dragons. I’m not a perfect dancer and my skill level is not like it was when I was younger and training several hours a day. But with what I call the Four Ps, Practice, Persistence, Patience, and Passion, I have everything I need to accomplish all of my dance goals, and so will you!
Visit my website at https://alicialanglais.weebly.com/dance-inspiration-coaching.html to learn about how you can Slay your Dance Dragons through Uninhibited Moving Body sessions!