Understanding The Body and Mind Through Dance
June 18th, 2019 by Elizabeth Radabaugh
When it comes to self-knowledge, it is important for one to be able to nurture themselves and gain insight into the best ways to take care of both their body and their mind. Dance can be used as an outlet of self-expression as one begins to maintain a deep understanding of the way their feelings, impulses, and physical pains can be expressed both inside and outside of the body. Here are a few ways dancers can gain more insight into truly understanding who they are so their art is expressed in an authentic and natural way.
Movements As A Product Of Fear
When it first comes to understanding feelings, some may initially feel hesitant to explore what truly makes their emotions tick and their bodies move. Feeling a sense of fear when beginning to truly define oneself is natural and can be seen through dance in the means of a lack of overall movement and fluidity in choreography. Fear can be revealed in dance when rigid movements take on the symbolism of a lack of flow and freedom in one’s life of one’s understanding of their own emotions. When dancers become more in touch with their emotions and begin to accept feelings rather than stray away from them, fluidity can be formed in movements, so the audience feels just as free as the artist does with their sense-of-self.
Movements As A Sense Of Awareness
When one finally frees themselves from restrictive movements and explores their emotions in more depth, they may soon realize themselves mimicking movements from their own lives into their choreography as a way of relating a certain time in their life to the specific emotion they felt at that time. For example, a dancer who has struggled with conflict with others may choose a form of dance or sample of choreography that emphasizes a sense of struggle with tighter movements while replicating the image of someone feeling trapped and distraught. Some dancers may not even recognize that a certain experience has inspired the way they choose to perceive it as a creative expression. This newfound awareness of being able to reflect on emotions through previous experience while creating a whole new experience for an audience allows for dancers to become deeply in touch with their past and the way it has affected the dancer they are in the present and the dancer they could be in the future.
Movements As A Release
While some dancers may be using their performance techniques to evoke an emotion they have already felt, some dancers use emotions as a means of motivation for relieving stress, anxiety, and even bits of depression. Some dancers would rather keep their emotions locked in for only themselves to see while using dance as a way to transfer the emotions their feeling into footwork that eases pain or allows for a sense of physical relief from the barriers of the emotional brain. This deeper understanding of emotions and the ways in which they can be held in tightly to oneself instead of sharing with the world showcases the intelligence of dancers who can manipulate their emotions as a way of motivating themselves to find a happy space while also keeping their feelings to themselves.
Casey Eggers is a writer for StarQuest. She loves coffee, music, and running long distance.