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Monday, November 17, 2008

Dance = joy

Today I watched students in the "Understanding Dance" class perform their big semester choreography project. The class is for non-dance majors (although some dance majors do take it). It was so much fun to watch what they created. Some students were very timid and others completely hammed it up, but either way all of us dance majors who watched cheered them on and hopefully encouraged them to just have fun. I think they all did a great job!

Their professor, Mr. T, said something that I strongly believe to be true: no matter an individual's skill level or "expertise" with dance, dance touches something within us that brings us unadulterated joy. And this joy is universal, bridging gender, race, culture, sexes, generations, etc.

I experience this joy when I'm doing hip hop, swing, and African. I feel it from time to time in modern, but ballet hasn't yet touched this part of me. A big contributing factor is the music - if there is a drumbeat or some kind of hard-hitting rhythmic percussion, it moves me from within. It's like the music is my heartbeat and I can't help but move.

The Godfather of Soul, James Brown, summed it up well: "Get up offa that thing - dance and you'll feel better!"

1 comment:

  1. love it. and the james brown quote- so perfect!