Dancers can’t perform forever.

All of us know this.  Due to the intensity and athleticism of the art, as well as the inevitable fact that we must grow old, our bodies break down and become weaker or an injury ensues, thus marking the end of a beautiful chapter in a dancer’s life.  For many of us, performing gives us feelings that nothing else in life can.  It’s our natural high, and we crave it in our lives.  We seek to speak to you with our movement because we believe our words are insufficient.  Yet, we know from the beginning that this will eventually come to an end, as all good things do.

But just because someone can no longer perform, it does not mean that they lose their identity as a dancer.  Dance can still be an integral part of life; we just have to morph our passion into something that makes us feel just as whole.  For some, this may mean teaching or choreographing – remaining in the studio to work with new, budding artists.  Others may enjoy being a dance critic.  Or just maybe it means closing this part of their story and starting over with a new interest in which they invest their time, fondly looking back on their memories.

I know that when my performing days come to an end (hopefully many, many years from now), I won’t be able to completely say “goodbye” to dance.  Luckily, I do believe that I have found something that will continue to let dance bring happiness and joy to my life, and that is dance/movement therapy.  I’m completely fascinated by this work, and everything I have read and studied about it makes complete sense. The therapy is used as a freeing mechanism for child cancer patients, individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, those who have been abused, and many, many more.  Articles have said that this type of therapy allows those involved to focus on the movement and allow it to transport them away from the pain and confusion; it allows them to find happiness without speaking of the hardships in their lives.

Isn’t this part of the reason dancers perform?  We focus on our movement and let it carry us away from whatever is going on in our lives at the time – good or bad.  Just the simple act of moving our bodies allows negative feelings drip off of us, as if our sweat washes it out of our bodies.  How wonderful that there is a therapy that utilizes these things to help those in need find some sort of relief.

Yes, I know I can’t perform forever, but I do know I can continue to let my passion of dance in life bring joy to others as well as myself.  I just have to morph it, and when that day comes, I will be ever so happy to do so.

If you’re interested in dance/movement therapy, check out “Drea’s Dream”.  I read the book, and it’s a wonderful organization.

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