Why should we dance?

One of the most argumentative writers on the subject of why we should dance is Christina Devereaux. For Devereaux, she believes why people should dance is because it helps a lot with anxiety especially with people who have been through a lot, like a tragedy. She writes frequently about how a traumatic event can leave our bodies confused, questioning, disoriented..etc and how we possibly don’t need to be part of a devastating tragedy or present to have it not affect us emotionally. This direction of trauma leads us into the concept of how Dance can help with that anxiety people gain from their own personal lives. Christina refers to the National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorders, and how “a traumatic event is something life-threatening..that you see or that happens to you…”. As she writes: “Traumatic events can threaten our sense of environmental and bodily safety. These experiences need to be processed through the body. Research advances have emphasized the importance of including the body in treatment of any type of trauma.” This interests me because usually I wouldn’t think dancing could help the body after a traumatic event, it never came to my attention. What I did use dance from my own personal experiece was I used it for stress relieve, to be more relaxed and get my mind off of certain things, but the thought of it helping someones body, mind and soul who has been through a tragedy amazes me.

Where I believe Devereaux is going with this is that in order to repair ourselves from something so tragic, including our body as part of the treatment is to look into the direction of dance being able to help with the trauma people face. In a recent article about advances in dance therapy, a man named Malvern Lumsden who wrote about The affective self and affect regulation in dance movement therapy, mentions about how dance and some type of movement can work with “rational trauma at two necessary levels”: one of the levels is called the cathartic level, refers to the emotional trauma and working through it once that person wants to learn and move forward with their problems (coping with it). In that article, Devereaux cites Claire Moore, a dance/movement therapist who explains that after a traumatic event the sensations need to be in a treatment process so that the person can become familiar with it’s body sensation once again which is why in both articles the writers are referring to how our bodies can be used in a way of activity to regain ourselves and how studies have shown that a way to decrease anxiety is through dance. Patients who have anxiety disorders are assigned to take dance classes as an option so that it can help reduce stress that comes with their anxiety. For me, both of these writers have stated what I now see with my own eyes, which is of course, the body and mind being cured from Dancing.

From my own experience I have been through so much with my family and myself personally, that growing up I used to dance to cope with my issues to get rid of that stress. As mentioned in my first blog post, I stated that my dance studio was like my second home and that I used it to get away/forget my problems. It really helped me get through certain things in my life which is why when I came across this article I fully agreed with all of these writers, they all showed me that dance can help people when they truly need it. Whether you’re going through something and need to get your mind off things dance can help calm your body and mind. Coming as a dancer, it made me think about the times where it helped me the most, and that was when I went through my parents divorcement. It wasn’t the happiest time of my life but I always look back and remember that dance was one of those treatments that helped me get through it. I didn’t necessarily use it as a treatment at the time, considering I went to dance class twice a week but it did get rid of my anxiety and now looking at it, I believe everyone can use dance as a way to get rid of any trauma that they are feeling.

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