Forget Your Troubles and Dance!
As a wise, fellow blonde once said:
“Exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy!”
Although the above words have come from Elle Woods (played by Reese Witherspoon), a Harvard Law student from 2001 chick-flick Legally Blonde, I couldn’t agree more!
From a young age, I have been incredibly passionate about exercise and participation in sport. At school, I would be the child who was on EVERY team. Netball, volleyball, cricket, table tennis – you name it, I was there! Irrespective of the fact that I didn’t excel in all of the sports I set my mind to, I loved to be a part of something, – a team; and in the successes and sometimes challenging failures that came with it.
But even up to the present day, there is one particular form of exercise which has been a huge part of my life – Dance. Reflective of the fact that dance brings so much joy to people, Wayne Sleep once said, “Dance is fun! It lifts the spirit, strengthens the body and stimulates the mind…” And I couldn’t agree more. Whether you’re two-stepping at your cousin’s wedding, or performing as a part of a dance troop on Britain’s Got Talent, I have never seen a person dancing and feeling unhappy.
At the age of 2, I undertook my first ballet lesson and from this point onwards progressed onto modern and tap. During my primary school years, I remember the hours of intensive practice and dancing on stage – the most memorable being the feeling I used to get when performing in front of an audience. Later on, when in secondary school, I was introduced to hip-hop and street dancing, genres of dance which give you the freedom to express yourself with individuality. Hours upon hours were spent learning routines from “Step-Up” and “Honey” whilst also choreographing my own and taking these in my dance club to teach other students. Whilst I don’t claim to be the world’s best dancer, I loved and still am incredibly fond of the art of dance. Martha Graham once quoted, “Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.”
Since moving to Dubai, I have had the opportunity to choreograph dances for both the Winter performance and the end of year Arcadia Oscars. What surprised me most was the willingness of the children to get involved. Every single student at Arcadia loved taking part in their performance and put 100% effort into every move. Whilst I enjoyed dancing so much when I was younger, I never truly understood how my parents felt watching me dance. And, although I am not a parent myself, I felt immense pride when watching my 15 little Year 3 students in their Lion King performance before half term. I could see in their faces the same buzz that I used to get during a performance at their age. In addition, the parental enthusiasm had a huge part to play as they not only brought happiness to our performers but also created a sense of excitement amongst the audience.
Whether you’re in the audience or on the stage, dance brings happiness to everyone as it allows you for a short time to forget about everything but that special moment and feeling. In the words of Bob Marley:
“Forget your troubles and dance.”