Ah, the art of dancing where one can express themselves in however way they choose.
If you were to ask me what has been one of my more memorable experiences this year; I would have to say dancing. I may not be a trained or the best dancer, but I have been dancing my butt off during this pandemic.
Keeping my mind and body in a healthy mental and physical state has been at the top of my 2020 self-care agenda.
Dancing has most assuredly helped accomplish that state of balance that I need. It can improve your mood on the worst of days, while at the same time keeping you fit.
The moment the music hits my ears, the beat starts to pulsate through my body like a wave out in the ocean on its way to shore. Instantly, my feet begin their assault on the floor by tapping ever so lightly while my arms sway back and forth—a few seconds later, I am in full dance mode.
If it was a Latin or Caribbean song, rest assured my hips would be moving as I twirl in circles. Friends, if you are ever in need of a good abdominal workout, may I suggest you start dancing to some of these: Merengue, Salsa, Bachata, Calypso, Reggae or Soca. And it’s okay if you don’t understand the language—allow yourself to feel the beat and the music will consume you.
A good dance session can be exhausting at times but oh so physically rewarding.
Granted, I do have my favorites on numerous playlists, however, I have made it a goal of mine to dance to the full spectrum of musical genres. I feel that part of the enjoyment for me is the exploration of new tunes that I may not have a clue on how to dance to them. I have also made it a point to learn a little about the songs that I dance to—like a fun fact, the song writer, the era the song was composed, . . . etc. Learning about a song or a specific genre of music can also bridge that disconnect we sometimes encounter in unfamiliar music.
Heaven knows this year has been filled with challenges that have tested both my mental and physical well-being.
I remember watching a segment on a news station earlier this year where the speaker was talking about how dancing can be very effective in elevating our mood. The best part was you didn’t have to be great at it—all you needed to do was move your body to the music. I thought to myself, perfect, I can do that.
I remember the first time I put this into practice, I admit that I was a little skeptical because on that particular day I was having one of those “Murphy’s Law” kind of a day. To be honest, I was ready for my day to end—even though it was only midday.
So remembering that segment, I asked Alexa to play “Beat It” by Michael Jackson. When that first beat dropped, oh man, my mood started changing instantaneously as the song progressed. I was transformed to my younger years when I wore penny loafers while trying to moonwalk across the kitchen floor. I was kicking my leg up in the air like I was Michael Jackson in his sparkly glove.
Y’all, I was dancing!
I was full out dancing, moon-walking wherever I found space to do so. When “Beat It” was over and Alexa continued with the song “Thriller” my dance party of one was in full swing. This mama started doing the Thriller dance move—you know the one—the zombie dance.
Eventually my dance party increased by one with my daughter joining in during quick breaks. Like me, she loves to dance and will dance to anything that has a beat. We probably spent about 30 minutes or so dancing to a few of Michael Jackson’s hits—we definitely got our workout that day.
One of the great reasons I have come to love dancing is because it can be a wonderful way to spend quality time with loved ones. In the end, I had forgotten all about my woes from earlier. Most importantly, my mental psyche was back in balance, and the tone of my day had changed for the better.
During this pandemic, the kids and I have included dancing in our schedule – at least once a week–for fun and exercise. On days when the effects of the pandemic felt stronger, we would dance to our heart’s delight. We would all take turns choosing songs that we liked and have impromptu dance battles. Nothing brings the spirits up when you’re watching your mom feeble attempt at performing the “worm” dance move on wooden floors.
Dancing is definitely one of the best ways to uplift my mood when I need a positive boost while benefiting from some physical activity.