Why do we dance?

Why, my dearest, most childish one,

Isn’t it rather obvious?

Away from the wearisome quotidian,

We become one with life’s maddening, delightful circus.


Chains loose, bodies alive -and no necessities.

Undressed of our innumerable costumes,

into the awakening abyss we plunge.

Abyss? or merely ourselves?

We’re but dancing diaries.


Now tell me, is dancing solely about letting go of our overburdening problems and having fun? Or is it, like dreams, a steady yet mysteriously veiled bridge that leads to our intriguing unconscious?  It is said that when we dance we manage to shut off the loud and sometimes wearisome voices of our minds and to get away from them as we indulge in a thorough discovery of our bodies. But then again, if when we dance we let go of our rationality, what is in control of our physique? What gives every move the energy it requires if not every burning sentiment and desire that nestles in our unconscious?

The way I see it, we only temporarily lose sight of our conscious reasoning (except of course for the nondisposable parts that make us aware of our surroundings and that essay to lead our bodies in a somewhat pleasing manner) only to wonderfully widen the puzzling ties with the depths of our psyche, as we do when dreaming. The difference lies in the fact that the former provides us with vivid images for us to analyse (so they remain in the mental realm) while the latter with messages hidden in plain sight, where everybody could read them. This is neither better nor worse, it’s just a bit more challenging to interpret.

Now I entreat you to try out this little experiment: lift your arms. Really, lift them. It feels rather preposterous and awkward, right? But now compare it to the way in which you lift your arms at a concert, or in a club or whenever you’re enjoying yourself and the music. These allegedly banal actions are essentially the same, yet filtered through different sections of our minds. The one you just carried out was a mere response of your conscience to the words read on this page, whereas the other comes instinctively, dictated by the  feelings that overwhelm your deliciously infinite unconscious. What I find so breathtaking about this particular movement is that it expresses the purest, sincerest form of freedom. Be it freedom from problems, from ourselves, from boredom-it really does not matter. We simply feel the liberty with all our being, and our bodies beautifully conform.


Gorgeous, isn’t it? We’re painting with our bodies, merging with that huge canvas entitled life. Remember that talent and technique are merely some burdensome concepts that society idealizes, that have nothing to do with what dancing really signifies, with its mesmerizing essence. That is precisely why the best type of dance is clearly not a certain style, but the kind that urges us to move guided by our inner emotions, which happily differs for each of us.

Dance, I beseech you! But do it with your soul, or not at all!



2 responses to “Why do we dance?

    • Indeed, and at least in contemporary tribal dances there are almost always some percussion instruments of some kind…or they sing themselves! And I am sure that in early times they hit two sticks or something, to create a beat to follow.

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