by Leah Patterson
In this world, where opinions abound and outside judgement can sometimes seem like the make it or break it of our lives, it’s easy to fall into a space of losing your sovereignty over the very things that bring you joy.
Dance, that act that is so intimate and vulnerable and equally bliss-filled, can easily fall prey to this.
I’ve seen women proudly proclaim how much they love to dance – and then in the same instance say they haven’t done it in years.
Or even worse, they’ve expressed how someone else’s reaction to them dancing has caused them to give it up completely.
Specifically in the salsa world, my world of dance, I’ve seen women say that, because they feel that they aren’t favored in the dance scene for various reasons (skin tone, weight, age, ethnicity, etc.), they are leaving the dance world for good.
What it makes me want to ask them and you is “why are you dancing?”
I want to remind them to remember why they are dancing.
When you dance, even in a partner dance like salsa, your point is not to just be a counterpart or part of a partnership.
When you dance, it’s first and foremost because YOU have something to express.
And your expression of that isn’t dictated by whoever you happen to be dancing with. The power, the energy, the magick – it’s within YOU.
It’s not in the hands of that person who decides to grace you with 3 or 4 minutes of their time and creative collaboration on a dance floor.
I will tell you honestly, I have never danced for anyone else.
Even when I have ached to dance with a partner, be it in a social dance or on stage, it’s always been a mostly selfish endeavor.
It’s always been to express ME. To get what’s in MY body and soul out in the open.
It’s always been to share what was moving through MY being.
And so that’s why no one has ever been able to take dance away from me. No one has ever been able to make me so disillusioned with dance, that I wanted to stop dancing.
Dance is MINE. Just like it’s YOURS.
The next time you feel yourself cowering, backing away from dance even when it brings you so much joy, choosing to believe someone else’s story about why you shouldn’t be dancing, remember these thoughts.
Take your power back. Remember where it lies. Remember that dance is yours.
You are drawn to dance because there is something in the music and the movement that speaks to you, that I would even venture to say is healing you.
Do not give that away simply because someone else has an opinion.
Create your own dances. Be the magnet. Be the source. Do it with audaciousness and take up your rightful space.
It’s just waiting on you. <3
If this essay resonates with you, please join our WITCH email list by using the forms on this website so we can stay in touch.
About the Author:
Leah Patterson is a transformation & wellness mentor, salsa dance instructor and green witch that provides women who identify (sometimes secretly) as living with high functioning depression and/or anxiety with the guidance they need to create an overall lifestyle of mind, body and spirit balance. She works primarily with dancers – professional, amateur and hobbyists – using holistic beauty, wellness, movement, and mindset as her tools of transformation, facilitating major breakthroughs and rock-solid self-empowerment for her clients. Visit her website www.leahpatterson.com to find out more about her and to schedule a complimentary Activate Your Power Session if you need help breaking through your barriers and doing the phoenix rise!
featured image via Unsplash