What Is Dance?

What Is Dance?

The meaning of dance.

According to Google, the definition of dance is, “a series of movements that match the speed and rhythm of a piece of music.” OK, I can agree with that, but they're missing the real essence of dance. Dance is all of your emotions put together into a single piece. It’s not always beautiful, and people don’t always understand it, and although it’s hard to explain, I will try with help from some of my favorite quotes. The first is one of my all time favorites.

“Great dancers are not great because of their technique. They are great because of their passion." - Martha Graham

I know I have little to no technique, so I really like this quote. Don’t get me wrong, technique is important, but seeing someone who really enjoys what they're doing is so cool. When people tell me my passion for dance shows in my performances, it makes me feel amazing. Plus, people tend to forgive technique errors when they watch your routine if you capture them with your passion, and you get the true meaning of your dance across to the audience.

“To touch. To move. To inspire. This is the true gift of dance.” - Aubrey Lynch

When you watch a dancer who puts their all into a dance, it speaks volumes. When you're dancing, the audience should be feeling whatever you're feeling on the stage. Routines that make an audience walk away thinking, "What on Earth did I just watch?" are usually the better ones. A lot of dancers can memorize steps and then repeat them in front of people, but a true dancer takes the choreography to the next level through emotions and making it their own.

“While I dance I can not judge. I can not hate, I can not separate myself from life. I can only be joyful and whole. This is why I dance.” - Hans Bos

When you're dancing, you're in your own world. Nothing else matters. All worries, frustrations, and stresses are put on hold. You are completely in the zone, letting the music help guide you across the dance floor. Let that negativity fuel you, not hinder you. There's another quote to go with this one: “Dance first, think later, it’s the natural order.”

“Dance for yourself, if someone understands good. If not, no matter. Go right on doing what interests you and do it until it stops interesting you.” - Lois Horst

When I tell people that they should try dance, the majority say they can’t dance because they have no rhythm. What people don’t realize is that dance is just like all other art forms. It’s not black and white. Some people see as beautiful what one person sees as ugly. Some people are going to love your work and others aren't. If you give it your all and are having a good time, it shows in your work. Even some of the best dancers and choreographers have days where no one understands their piece or likes it, but they continue to do what they love, anyway.

There you have it, my attempt at explaining dance and what it means. I'm not the best at putting my true thoughts down through writing, so here are two of my dance routines. Hopefully, this helps aid in explaining dance. If they don't help, oh well. Like I say in the article, not everyone will get it and that's totally OK.

Cover Image Credit: 123rf.com

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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