God in the most purest form is reflected through artistic expression. Our bodies become instruments and we become ministers of music communicating the nakedness of our souls projecting the power of our spiritual selves.
Spirituality has always played a big part in my creative and artistic expression as a dancer and as a performing artist. I believe that dance is the purest form of spiritual energy that allows me to connect to a higher consciousness transcending time, space and reality. Dance is imagination brought to life and dreams are no longer mythical fantasies that can not be attained. When I began to connect my spirituality with my dancing I realized that the two had been intertwined, at least in my world, from the beginning.
Ruth St. Denis, a pioneer of modern dance, understood the connection between dance and spirituality. “The revelation of spiritual beauty in terms of movement is the natural and inevitable progression of life and art" is a quote that resonated with me when I read it in The Vision of Modern Dance. Ruth St. Denis believed that dance should be a spiritual experience instead of a “simply entertaining or technically skillful."
When I examine my own spiritual and physical path as not only a dancer but also as a performing artist it all comes full circle. As a dancer, I utilize my body to communicate with the universe. I speak a language of communication with all creation and everything that represents the purest form of love which is a reflection of God. In those moments of movement I feel connected to God and it becomes a cosmic experience that can not be explained. I consider my movement quality to be fluid, breathy and lyrical because it's the type of movement I'd imagine doing if I were dancing within the galaxy among the stars. I truly believe that dance reveals the soul and here are 7 reasons why I think dance is the ultimate spiritual experience:
1. Dance is prayer - when you don't have the words to say simply dance and your heart will express the things that words can not.
Prayer is simply a conversation with God and dance allows you to have a direct line of communication to God. Dance provides an internal dialogue that is sacred within your heart, soul and spirit—giving you a direct line to the source.
2.Dance is meditationAccording to Marieke van Vugt, writer of the article "The Mediation of Dance, or the Dance of Meditation" “meditation is the highest form of control over your mind." Also meditation is about stillness, listening and having awareness. When you dance you have to have total control over your mind to execute the steps and you have to truly listen to what your body tells you which leads to number 3:
3. Being in the moment
Dance allows you to be in the moment. In ballet class your mind can not wander. You have to be in the moment and fully present when you're at the barre and when you progress to center. During adagio and petite allegro you are always in the moment. Living in the moment with each step you take, fully present and intensely focused on perfecting your craft.
4. Dance provides an escape
Momentarily you can escape from the harsh realities of whatever it is that you're going through. When you dance you can cast all of your cares on the dance floor. The dance floor is your sanctuary. Whatever troubles you becomes a distant memory from the moment you step foot on stage or in the dance studio.
5. Dance provides a connection with others
The best spiritual connection is the connection we have with others. When our spirits align and we experience movement together it provides the bliss we seek in the spirit of fellowship. The magical feeling of connecting to others in a higher dimension through the art of dance is what heightens the spiritual experience. It's metaphysical. Through dance you develop an "unconditional bond" with other dancers, with the audience—and when you touch the heart of others through the art of dance an emotional bond occurs.
6. Dance promotes a healthy and active lifestyle
One of the major components of dance is healthy living. A healthy body enhances a healthy mind. Health and spirituality go hand and hand. In the article "Spirituality and Health" it is mentioned that the mind, body and soul are connected and the health of the body affects the health of the mind.
7. Dance is the ultimate therapy
Dance and movement help to provide emotional support and there are even dance therapy programs like the Hancock Center for Dance/Movement Therapy that offer dance therapy as a vehicle for self-growth and actualization.
So don't just sit there! Dance and discover your own inner spiritual awakening!
““Dance is the fastest, most direct route to the truth — not some big truth that belongs to everybody, but the get down and personal kind, the what's-happening-in-me-right-now kind of truth....We dance to fall in love with the spirit in all things, to wipe out memory or transform it into moves that nobody else can make because they didn't live it."