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I DANCE BECAUSE

Photo by  Dasha Gaian

Photo by Dasha Gaian

"People have asked me why I chose to be a dancer. I did not choose: I was chosen to be a dancer, and, with that, you live all your life."
Martha Graham

People, if we are alive, we've been through it. I thank the stars for my privileged karma, and I hope I'm using it to benefit as many people as possible, but I've still been through it. Am in it. Going through it. You too?

I battled crippling insecurity through most of my younger life, I felt ashamed to be out in the world being me, looking as I did, weighing what I weigh, etc...I have been through most every eating disorder you can name, and fight sugar cravings and emotional eating weekly. I spent most of my adolescence fantasizing how I'd reshape my body if I had a magic wand or a hacksaw.

All the self-love mantras in the world could't convince me to love myself, to love being in my body. But dance did. It took deeply feeling myself, from the inside out, through the distinct journey of dance, for the neurosis to shift from crippling to a subtle late night nuisance. Dance changed everything for me, in a way that years of therapy, endless books, and nothing else could. To have the experience of LOVING being in a body- to experience energy moving through me without getting stuck in conceptual process- true magic.

In high school, when my boyfriend dumped me and I decided life wasn't worth living, it was raging to punk rock in my dorm and choreographing with friends in the gym, that got me through. In college, as I fell into a dark pit of anxiety and depression when half my family moved to Israel, my parents separated and the snobbery of art school was eating me alive, it was headphones on and booty shaking that got me through. When I  left behind everything familiar to come to Colorado for college, it was African dance and weekly outings to live music and clubs that re-ignited my passion for life itself. When I was sleep deprived, delirious and miserable, I strapped my newborn colicky baby boy to me and we danced. I have a million more examples like this, do you? Every-time I have lost myself, forgotten myself, abandoned myself, hated myself, forsaken myself- dance has brought me home. To me. To my love of life, my love of being in a body, in connection, in love. 

I do believe, wholeheartedly, that dance can get me through anything. As I said last week, it doesn't take the pain away. It isn't a magic wand that makes everything better. It is, however, like a magic spell that creates space. It makes everything more workable because nothing feels as stuck! It is a soothing balm of self-love that connects me with myself and the world- beyond words, concepts or situations. It is, to me, the greatest gift I can give myself, and that I can give you. It is love. That, beloveds, is why I dance. Why do you dance?