When Dance is More than Dance

Movement as Medicine

Last Saturday I danced with the evolving Corvallis Ecstatic Dance tribe.  It was smooth, it felt fluid, and it was  beautiful in it’s messiness. The venue was reminiscent of the space I danced in every Saturday in LA and I was in heaven.

For the first hour my body led the dance. I felt connected to it and the movement was deliciously fluid. And then my mind took over and the what ifs kicked in. I kept trying to move back into the space of body. When I dropped into the body,  I became afraid that I didn’t have the right to dance as I was dancing. The minute that thought entered and I allowed the voice, I lost the fluidity and the dance became choppy and difficult. I kept trying to make the thing that happened at the beginning, the flow, the fluidity, the ease of movement, happen again and it didn’t come back.

It felt awkward and soon I felt a stab of pain in the back my left leg … the leg didn’t want to hold me. My leg did not want to hold me. Oh my  God,  I am sobbing in recognition of that pain, the pain of “I don’t want to hold you” as I write.

The leg did not want to hold me. My receiving side, my feminine side did not want to hold me! My own body did not want to hold me.  What do I do with that?

My body was beginning to remember the feeling of the end of a dream.

The feeling was the same sensation I had as I  sat at the end of me bed, my favorite crimson towel wrapped around my body.  I sobbed, wailed while  I assimilated the  realization that my lover was not going  to share his space with my son and me for two months while I got back on my feet. I would therefore be leaving the area. He was unable to hold me in that need. It wasn’t his place to keep that dream alive by rescuing me but I couldn’t understand that at the time.

There was such a sense of utter desolation and abandonment with this … desolation that felt so devastating that I put walls up to prevent it from ever happening again and pushed the feeling down whenever it tried to show up.

Corvallis has symbolized that sense of deep failure to me, the failure to make it in my favorite place in the world. It comes full circle.

The Saturday morning dance in Corvallis, in a space that felt  like the space I danced in every Saturday morning, bringing up this deeply suppressed grief. Breathe that grief into my heart – along with the sense of failure, abandonment, fear, give it a voice, give it movement. Pour love into it.

I have held onto that sense of failure, that feeling of suppressed desolation. I’ve worn it as an invisible armor, pushing away the good all around me.

Now the armor comes off. I simply invite it all into my heart, give it room to move.

Last week’s blog offering set the stage for this. It wrote itself before I left for dance. I am in awe of the process.

Stories of desolation, grief being metabolized and loved and released.


Perhaps it was not me the leg did not want to hold.

Perhaps it was the stories I’ve been carrying forward from that time.

Perhaps it was telling me we are finished with those.

Yes. We are finished with those stories. It is to allow new stories to emerge!