By: Shannon Shull
To dance is to live. I discovered this at a young age. When I am alone, I dance to release, to recover, to suffer, to survive, to tap into my passions, to feel and to heal. When I dance with others, I release in a different way – tapping into fun times, exercising or teaching choreography. Whichever way it’s done, dancing helps to keep my body and soul alive. My body thanks me when I dance because it rejoices in the movement and celebrates the actual ability to move. I can feel awful, but when I teach a zumba class, do a warm up with a bunch of middle school kids or have a private moment to dance for release, I always feel better. But inevitably, my body will smile from the inside out.
When I was a kid, I took my jam box into my front yard at night, blasted my music and danced my heart out. I would go into my own little artistic world. It was my time. My creative time to experience, survive and dive into emotion and passion or visit pretend worlds. My little front yard was my grand stage. I had the misconception that because it was nighttime, no one could see me. Around the same time, I used to walk around my back yard singing at the top of my lungs with the notion that because my back yard was fenced in, no one could hear me. One day, my mother crushed that belief when she stuck her head out of the door and asked me to keep it down because she was trying to teach a piano lesson and my singing was distracting her. As I looked up at the wide smile on my neighbor’s face, the harsh reality that others could indeed hear me outside of the weak chain length fence, hit me like a mac truck! Apparently, I had been putting on quite a show for my neighbors!
Recently, I have been a long-term substitute for the dance teacher at White Knoll Middle School. I have had the privilege of dancing on a daily basis and I absolutely love it! Not only have I been able to share my own enthusiasm for dance with these fabulous kids, but they have introduced me to new music and dance moves. I love watching them get into the groove and have such fun dancing. It’s such a treat! And to work so hard teaching them new choreography and then see a dance piece come to life – it’s great to witness!
There’s a quote that says, “Those who dance are thought mad by those who hear not the music.” There will always be people who won’t hear the music, but the best thing you can do is to let yourself live and dance like nobody’s watchin’!
Below are some of my other favorite quotes about dance. Enjoy!
Man must speak, then sing, then dance.
The speaking is the brain, the thinking man. The singing is the emotion.
The dancing is the Dionysian ecstasy which carries away all.
– Isadora Duncan
The next time you look into the mirror, just look at the way the ears rest next to the head; look at the way the hairline grows; think of all the little bones in your wrist. It is a miracle. And the dance is a celebration of that miracle.
– Martha Graham, dancer/choreographer
When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.
– Wayne Dyer
To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking.
– Agnes de Mille
“Let us first teach little children to breathe, to vibrate, to feel, and to become one
with the general harmony and movement of nature.
Let us first produce a beautiful human being, a dancing child.”
– Isadora Duncan, dancer/choreographer