Dance Like Your Life Depended On It

Every woman wants to feel that her body is a source of pleasure, at any age. Men know well the confidence and power that come with using their bodies skillfully and the pleasure that affords. Playing with sticks and balls has given men ample opportunity to experience that bodily competence from an early age. The women who have found athletic activities to give them that boost are more and more numerous. The ones who haven’t are missing out.

But what else can a woman do to feel that pleasure of the power of a synchronized mind and body? How can she feel fluid, graceful, and sensual and still be in public? Where is that safe place where she can freely express the pleasure of her body’s power?

The time may come when she is without a life partner, but fully desirous of experiencing the thrill of the mind/body connection. If she hasn’t already thought of it, let me suggest ballroom dancing!

imagesIf she has no current partner, all the better, she gets to dance with a private instructor who is a fantastic dancer.

For all of you who have been mesmerized by the Cinderella stories and the princess stories and the fairy stories, now is your chance to bring those fantasies to life, even if just for 40 minutes at a time. The ballroom is mirrored and sparkly with a smooth, shiny wooden floor that welcomes your dancing feet. My favorite ballroom is located above the street with windows lining the ballroom where you can look out to the hustle below. Just like in the movies!

Indulge your desire to wear swirling skirts and golden dance shoes, make-up and jewelry.

Immerse yourself in the dream and revel in it. Your instructor makes it fun, at least mine does: "Look how you have grown up!" (when I master a new step) and "Watch my little feet!" (he is from the Ukraine and gorgeous). It is so easy to forget there is a work-a-day world out there on the street below. I live close enough to the studio to walk there and I dance all the way home, under the blinking stars that look out for everyone in the kingdom.

It doesn’t matter what age or size you are. Dancing is a God-given gift to anyone who has a body in decent physical shape. Never fear, your body will drop pounds, change shape, develop muscles and stamina, all the while you are having the time of your life. I am speaking of joy —that easily overlooked sparkle and shiver that comes with expressing your life force with your miraculous body.

The side effects are glorious too. Learning new dance steps keeps those brain synapses firing. It is highly aerobic if you put your body and soul into it, which of course you should. As my instructor says, "Now, let’s do it with feeelins," as he draws out that magic word. Practice makes perfect and the more lessons you have, the more fun and the greater your progress. My muscles and brain have learned a new language that makes it easier and easier to learn new steps.

Where do I dance? At the Fred Astaire Studio in Tarrytown. All the instructors are professional dancers from the Ukraine and started dancing when they were children. As teachers they know that encouragement motivates better than any other method. There is no such thing as a mistake, just a chance to do it over again. Take a walk into the studio and add dancing to your life, for the joy of it!

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About the Author: Deirdre Fennessy